Foster announces major BT investment

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced a multi-million pound investment by BT, supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and IT services, and in Northern Ireland over 3,000 employees and agency staff work for the company, across a wide range of disciplines serving local, national and global customers.

Following a review of its global contact centre operations and the repatriation of customer service operations from India, Northern Ireland has been selected by BT as the location for all of its UK digital care based business support and specialist enquiries.

The investment project will focus on the advanced training and development of over 600 BT customer care advisors, as the company moves from telephone-voice based customer service to more advanced forms of digital based communications channels such as email or Twitter. The training will involve staff in BT centres in Enniskillen and Londonderry, while employees in the Belfast centre will specialise in Billing & Enquiries.

Invest NI has offered almost £2million of support towards the project which includes part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Announcing the investment the Minister said: “This is an investment which will cement the future of BT in Northern Ireland. BT recognises that its people here have excellent skills levels and are open to the opportunity to retrain to meet the needs of changing customer expectations.

“This investment in training will ensure that BT will deliver the highest standard of 24 hour customer care, using the most up to date methods of online communication and interaction. Invest NI support, together with Northern Ireland’s high quality telecommunications infrastructure, has helped to drive BT’s decision to locate its national digital customer care centres here.”

Chris Clark, Chief Executive Officer at BT, said: “We are delighted with the positive outcome for Northern Ireland following the global review, and are confident that this investment in digital care will help future proof our operations here. We believe our staff will make a major contribution to ensuring that our customer care capability remains world class, and our latest planned investment in training and development, supported by Invest NI, reflects this.

“BT’s priority is being number one for customer service and, increasingly, customers want to engage with us using digital channels. Digital care will enable our customers to access the very highest quality of customer support via e-mail, live chat, and other web based contact including proactive support channels such as Twitter.”