Robinson and McGuinness welcome 165 new jobs boost at BT


First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have announced that BT is to create 165 jobs at a new BT Flex customer contact centre in Belfast.

BT Group plc is one of the world’s largest providers of communications solutions and services, operating in more than 170 countries. It employs approximately 3,000 people on the island of Ireland with over 2,300 across multiple sites in Northern Ireland.

The new customer contact centre builds on the success of the first BT Flex centre which opened in Belfast in December 2012, creating over 100 jobs. The multi skilled advisors at the centre will support BT’s service campaigns and its operations across the UK as required. Invest NI has offered BT £693,000 through its Jobs Fund and the Department for Employment and Learning has offered £150,000 training support under its Assured Skills Programme.

The First Minister Peter Robinson said: “BT is an established investor providing employment opportunities for over 2,000 people in Northern Ireland. I welcome today’s announcement of 165 new jobs by one of the world’s largest communications providers.

"BT considered other locations outside Northern Ireland for this project so this re-investment in a new contact centre in Belfast is further testament to the positive business environment that Northern Ireland offers global firms.”

The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “This additional investment by BT reinforces the message delivered at the recent Investment Conference, that this is a good place to do business.

"The 165 new jobs will deliver total annual salaries of over £3 million and provide career and training opportunities to local people within the dynamic, growing telecommunications sector.”

Colm O’Neill CEO, BT Northern Ireland said: "Building on the great success of our first BT Flex centre located in BT’s Riverside Tower we are delighted that BT Group has chosen to expand our operation at this location to meet our growing demand for skilled and experienced advisors.

"BT currently employs over 2,300 people across Northern Ireland with over 1,000 of those jobs as a direct result of inward investment. Our new centre will help us focus on improving customer experience across all of BT’s functions and, as an innovative model of contact centre support we’re delighted that Northern Ireland is once again leading the way. The new centre will allow us to maximise our existing infrastructure and we look forward to welcoming our new colleagues on board."

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the announcement and said: “These are multi-skilled positions that can provide a wide range of services across a number of BT’s business units. The fact that BT chose Northern Ireland as the location for this important investment project is yet another endorsement of the skills and infrastructure available here, as well as proof that Invest NI’s work to secure investment and repeat investment is working.”

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: "I welcome the further jobs announced by BT today which is a strong commitment to the business services sector and demonstrates growth for the organisation following the development of the Flex Centre last year.

"£150,000 Assured Skills funding from my Department will ensure that BT has the support necessary for training initiatives to develop the specific skills required. This innovative and flexible programme significantly boosts our offer to growing indigenous businesses by working with them to develop a workforce with the proficiency base they need to grow their business."