Prime Minister Announces 600 New Jobs for Armagh and Belfast

Indian global IT and technology giant, HCL, will create 600 jobs in a major expansion of its Armagh and Belfast contact centre operations.

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair made the announcement in India during the launch of the 2006 UK Trade and Investment India Business Awards in New Delhi, an event attended by Shiv Nadar, Founder of HCL, Chairman and CEO HCL Technologies Limited.

The Prime Minister referred to a number of positive developments involving economic links, between India and the UK, and highlighted the strategic importance of the UK for Asian companies seeking a springboard for developing business within the enlarged European Union.

The Secretary of State Peter Hain welcomed the Prime Minister’s confirmation of HCL’s investment: “It’s a credit to the quality of our workforce that Northern Ireland continues to be an attractive location for outsourced services, in the face of stiff competition from lower waged economies. This expansion, supported by Invest Northern Ireland, will create at least 400 new jobs in Armagh with the balance at Armagh or Belfast depending on operational requirements.”

HCL provides software-led IT solutions, business process outsourcing and infrastructure management services. Earlier this year it acquired Armagh-based company, Answercall Direct, safeguarding 140 jobs.

Shiv Nadar, Founder HCL, Chairman and CEO HCL Technologies, said: “We invested in Northern Ireland with our partners BT Plc in 2001 in an act of faith backing our instincts and strategy, and that of our partner. We are proud of what this operation has demonstrated not only for HCL but also for the entire NI and UK community in adding value locally by being part of a global strategy.”

Kevin Houston, general manager of HCL BPO Services in Northern Ireland, said: “HCL’s Northern Ireland operations have proved that we can deliver high quality and cost-effective contact services that are contributing to the successful achievement of the company’s strategic plans.”