CGI steps up UK expansion

CGI has joined the growing ranks of IT services companies looking to significantly ramp up their UK workforce.

The company, which already employs around 6,000 staff in the region, now plans to add a further 700 employees over the next 12 months. This will be underpinned by the opening of new offices in Leeds, Leicester and Liverpool, as well as the expansion of existing teams in Scotland and Wales.

The move marks a continuation of the group’s “metro” model, where it establishes local sales and delivery hubs near to key client clusters. Earlier this month, the company’s French operation announced it would set up a new Industry 4.0 center in Toulouse, adding to three existing vertically-aligned sites in Montpellier, Lyon and Lille.

CGI has had a strong run in the UK in recent months, including a major new deal with the local operation of Volkswagen to provide managed IT services over the next five years. 

PAC’s View: As a proud Northerner, it is pleasing to see that the majority of CGI’s new positions will be created north of the Watford Gap. Regional CEO Tara McGeehan points out that this falls in line with the Government’s somewhat woolly plans on “levelling-up” the gulf in the UK’s regional prosperity, but is particularly encouraging to see a company taking meaningful steps to tackle the divide. 

CGI is not the only vendor on the look-out for new talent in the region. Accenture has added more than 2,000 new UK staff in the last two years through acquisitions alone, while TCS, Infosys, HCL and Mphasis have in recent months committed to adding a combined 4,500 new jobs in the UK in the coming years. 

CGI is in a true war for talent, but its focus and existing brand outside of the usual hot-spots (it has long been one of the largest employers in South Wales and a significant presence in Liverpool through its work with the Disclosure and Barring Service) will be valuable. The company has made solid progress in building on its heritage in complex applications transformation work with growing volumes of work in areas such as AI, 5G and IoT, and its recent commitment on new sustainability targets will all help it to battle it out for the attention of new recruits.