International IT services company, Atos, is to create 50 high value jobs in Moray at a new development and innovation centre.
This centre will be temporarily accommodated at the RAF Kinloss base before moving into its permanent Forres location in Spring 2013.
With a firm focus on recruiting locally, Atos' new centre will deliver secure IT development and testing services for private and public sector clients. The creation of the high value posts for the area is to be supported by a £1 million grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Atos has been exploring the possibility of recruiting and re-training some of the highly-qualified staff employed in the Moray area since the end of last year.
Since establishing an office in Inverness earlier this year, Atos is now delivering on its commitments to focus on the region.
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, said: "This jobs announcement is a welcome boost for Moray and I'm pleased that the company has made a commitment to the area.
"The Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are working hard to secure new jobs and investment and to retain Scotland's position as the most competitive environment for business in the UK."
"Scotland is home to a wealth of innovative and ambitious businesses and Highlands and Islands Enterprise has been working with Atos on its growth plans, which have been assisted by a £1 million HIE grant."
"This positive result for Moray and for Scotland is an excellent example of partnership working by members of the Moray Economic Partnership."
"The Scottish Government has worked closely with the Partnership since it was established to mitigate the impacts of the UK Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review and we will continue to support their work to maximise the opportunities that have arisen since the changes at RAF Kinloss and Lossiemouth."
Gavin Thomson, Senior Vice President - Scotland, Atos said: 'We are delighted to be building a strategic development and innovation centre in the Moray area, creating a large number of high value jobs. This is a good news story for the new recruits, for the Moray area and for Atos."
He added: "As a major supplier to the UK and Scottish Governments, the wealth of skills available in the Moray community was an important consideration for Atos. There should be opportunities in the future to increase the size of the centre and create more jobs delivering our contracts.'
Atos is continuing to invest in its Scottish business and has developed a year long training programme to ensure that every new recruit will have the appropriate skills and experience to ensure the Moray centre is an exemplar within Atos and across the IT sector. In addition to formal training each recruit will receive mentoring from dedicated business technologists within Atos.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has played a key role in coordinating a partnership between Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, and Atos.
Alex Paterson, HIE Chief Executive, said: "HIE is delighted to have worked with Atos and our public sector partners to bring this investment by a global company to the Moray area.
"The creation of 50 high value jobs delivering cutting edge services in research, health and security industries will go some way to alleviating the current challenges Moray faces. Local partnership working since the base review has meant we were able to provide Atos with comprehensive information on the breadth of skills both within the base and in the wider community. The public funding will support the workforce transition to this exciting new opportunity."
About Atos Scotland