US software giant Computer Associates International will create 500 information technology jobs over the next two years to staff its new £100m European headquarters near Slough in Berkshire.
CA’s move is a further boost for Britain’s IT sector following Microsoft’s decision in June to invest £50m in a Cambridge research laboratory.
The 250,000sq ft complex will be built at and around Ditton Hall, a Grade II listed building where some of the original research into radar took place. From 1999 it will also consolidate CA’s operations and 700 staff now at four UK sites: two in Slough and one each in Chelsea, London and Winnersh, Berkshire.
`We have been looking for a suitable site here for five years,’ said Jay Huff, CA’s marketing director. `The UK already has by far the largest number of CA employees in Europe, and our enthusiasm for operating across the Continent through a number of fairly autonomous national offices has been falling for some time.’
Recruitment would have a bias towards software developers. `One of the other factors behind choosing the UK for the new development was the very strong local resource pool,’ he said.
Huff said that CA was not worried by higher comparative labour costs over other European markets.
`If anything, our aim is to invest to give people an interesting place to work, offering on-site facilities such as a Montessori school for children to attract working parents,’ he said.
New York-based CA claims to be the world’s largest developer and publisher of business software. Its products include the PRMS and MK Enterprise manufacturing systems. CA also markets the Unicentre enterprise management system.
`We already have a large UK client base,’ said Huff. `As a result, we were also fairly relaxed about the whole Emu issue, when deciding to centre our European activities here.’