Robinson and McGuinness announce almost 1,000 jobs by Stream

Photography: Harrison Photography

Pictured are First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA, with Kathryn Marinello, CEO Stream.

First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA today announced almost 1,000 jobs by Stream Global Services in Belfast.

Stream, the US-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company has established a new contact centre at Airport Road West as part of its growth plans. The company began recruiting the posts last year at a temporary facility, with approval from Invest NI, allowing the company to meet customer demand and ensure the project was secured.

The majority of the positions are customer service agents with over half already in place. When complete the project will deliver £14million annually in additional salaries.

First Minister, Peter Robinson said: "I welcome this investment which will secure almost 1,000 jobs in Northern Ireland and make a significant contribution to our local economy. To have so many of these jobs already in place at this new facility is fantastic news for us. While several alternative global locations were considered by the company, the requirements of its customers combined with Northern Ireland’s attractive business environment resulted in Stream locating this new centre in East Belfast.

"This expansion by Stream is positive news ahead of our forthcoming Investment Conference where we expect to welcome over 100 potential investors to Northern Ireland. We are growing as an attractive place for foreign direct investment and Stream’s location here is further proof of our global appeal.”

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “Our Business Services sector is a key driver of economic growth and securing this major investment over competitors in other regions is an important win.

“Stream’s investment here underlines our ability to meet the business needs of global companies. Its expansion is positive news for our economy and creates much needed jobs that offer flexible employment and the opportunity to develop transferrable skills. The jobs at this centre will benefit the whole economy through the generation of £14million per annum in additional salaries. Once recruitment has completed Stream expects to employ more than 1,700 people here.

“The high level of collaboration between industry, academia and government here, ensures investors have immediate access to the tools they need to establish and grow a successful business.”

Invest NI and the Department for Employment and Learning have offered a total of £3.3million support to secure this 993 jobs project. Invest NI has offered £2.8million of support through its Jobs Fund and the Department for Employment and Learning has also offered over £496,500 of training support under its Assured Skills programme to Stream.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Thanks to Invest NI’s flexible approach we were able to ensure that the company’s investment plans could proceed quickly and that the jobs could benefit local people as soon as possible. Over half the jobs are already in place which highlights the demand and appeal for such employment opportunities offered by an internationally renowned company.

"The employment opportunities are appealing to a wide range of people including those returning to work, those who have experienced a period of unemployment as well as school leavers.”

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, said: "The expansion of Stream to these new offices in East Belfast is not only a boost to employment but also to our skills base. Through support from my Department’s Assured Skills programme to deliver the skilled workforce that they require, Stream are creating new job opportunities which will help strengthen the local economy. The Assured Skills programme plays an important part in attracting high quality investors to Northern Ireland. I am greatly encouraged by this investment and I look forward to building our relationship further with Stream."

Stream Chairman and CEO Kathy Marinello said: “Establishing this new centre is a very exciting development for our business in Northern Ireland and Europe. Invest NI has assisted us in bringing these plans to fruition. A number of locations were considered for this project, however Northern Ireland best met our needs.

“The talented people we have in Northern Ireland have already made significant contribution to our operations. This investment from both Invest NI and the Department for Employment and Learning underlines the value placed on the skills and commitment of our local workforce. We are focused on providing meaningful career opportunities for our Northern Ireland employees.”