Hundreds of IT jobs to be created in south Wales by CGI UK

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Media captionCGI UK is receiving a £3.2m Welsh government grant to support the jobs

More than 620 IT jobs are being promised for south Wales after a Canadian firm announced it would expand its Bridgend base.

CGI UK is receiving a £3.2m Welsh government grant to support the jobs which will be created over five years.

The economy minister said she hoped there would be further expansion.

Meanwhile, a car parts factory in Merthyr which announced it would create 220 jobs in May also opened its new site.

Tenneco Walker, which manufactures exhausts, currently employs 190 people at its existing site in Tredegar.

The second site at High Point, Dowlais Top, will make and assemble components.

Image copyright Patrick Olner
Image caption More than 620 jobs will be created at CGI UK's Bridgend base


IT firm CGI currently has three sites in Bridgend at Waterton Cross Business Park, Bridgend Science Park and Waterton Industrial Estate.

The company provides computing, cyber security and other IT service functions and currently employs 900 people in south Wales.

As well as the Welsh government grant, the firm is also receiving funding from the Skills Growth Wales programme to train new employees and expand current workers' skills.

It will begin recruiting immediately, and a condition of the grant is that all jobs are in place within five years.

Analysis by BBC Wales Economics correspondent Sarah Dickens

Having attracted many foreign firms to Wales in the 1990s - Wales with 5% of the population attracted 15% of the inward investment in the UK - inward investment fell to only 2% of projects from overseas by 2005-06.

But last year the number of projects rose from 23 to 67, and that success has continued with 79 attracted in 2013-14.

Dr Martin Rhisiart from the University of South Wales' Business School said: "Wales has performed very well, picking up about 7.9% of all UK inward investment so performing above its quota or share."

The news comes a week after official figures showed the unemployment rate had fallen in Wales for the second successive quarter from 6.7% to 6.5%, with 3,000 people fewer out of work.

Speaking about the announcement, First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "This is great news for Wales and our IT sector and a great vote of confidence in Wales as a place to do business."

Shortly before opening the car parts factory, Economy Minister Edwina Hart told BBC Radio Wales: "I think after the demise of the WDA (Welsh Development Agency) it was almost a hiatus - it came into government but we lost some of the tricks they had as an agency.

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Media captionHead of service operations Chris Moreton said the firm was going through a huge expansion

"And I think now we've re-established ourselves with more officers going abroad, far more frequent trade missions, a lot of dialogue and I think the importance is when you do have a company that comes to you from abroad that you nurture it really well."

CGI UK president Tim Gregory said: "As we continue to grow our business and our clients increasingly adopt newer technologies such as cloud it is more important than ever that we can offer them a highly-skilled workforce.

"Our Bridgend-based team will be at the forefront of delivering award winning services and solutions."

A Welsh government spokeswoman said inward investment in Wales was at a record high, with 79 projects attracted in 2013-13, creating or safeguarding 10,805 jobs.

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