Consulting, technology and outsourcing giant Capgemini is looking for 250 new staff in the second expansion of its operations in Inverness and Nairn in a year.
The recruitment drive follows a major public sector contract win by the firm and will take its workforce in the Highlands to around 900.
Bosses at the company said the types of work it has been bringing to the area had increased a move away from traditional call centre roles it had been associated with in the past.
The expansion comes after Capgemini announced earlier this year it had won a five-year contract to provide “strategic IT infrastructure services” for the UK’s largest police force, London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
Firm building its ‘own base of talent’
Innis Montgomery, head of Capgemini’s Inverness command centre, said: “Of all the work that’s been transitioning into the Highlands, a lot of it is at entry level in terms of people’s digital careers, which is really good.
“We find that, with the work we are transitioning on the back of some of the wins we have had recently, over time we will start initiating people into project-type work and the skills levels that will be required will be more advanced.”
He continued: “In a way, what we are doing is bringing lots of people in at a junior level and we will have an opportunity to train them up and, over time, form our own base of talent.
So, in effect, what we are doing is creating career pathways for individuals and we have lots of really good examples of how people have progressed at Capgemini.”
Mr Montgomery added that nearly 200 people now work in cyber security in the firm’s Highland operations, making the main base for that field of work in the UK.
James Webster, head of managed services at Capgemini UK, said: “People know the brand Capgemini, but have completely the wrong idea about what we do here.
What we are doing is trying to move away from answering telephone calls and getting more interaction-based, using some of the software tools we’ve got available. We want to have the ability to grow those digital capabilities.”
He continued: “Capgemini has got a heritage in the public sector. It has got a very long-standing relationship with HMRC, built on many years since the original deal.
“In the infrastructure space we are seeing more opportunities and dialogue with public sector clients.”
Majority of staff will continue to work from home
Around 70% of the company’s staff in the north have been working from home since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Mr Webster added: “I think the ‘new normal’ will have flexibility and the majority of staff will continue to work at home where they can.
We are going to be as flexible as we can be to suit everyone’s different needs.”
Capgemini moved its main operations in the north to Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) former headquarters at Cowan House, on Inverness Business and Retail Park, in 2013, relocating from offices in the city’s Henderson Drive. Around two-thirds of its north staff are based there.
Mr Montgomery said if its expansion continued it would seek additional premises next year.
The company works closely with Inverness College UHI, Skills Development Scotland, HIE and Inverness Chamber of Commerce on training for its workers and its modern apprenticeship programmes.
It is also involved in the Scottish Government’s Young People’s Guarantee work experience scheme and the Kickstart programme for people in long-term unemployment.