Photography: Press Eye Photography
Colm O’Neill, centre, CEO BT Northern Ireland, is pictured with Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Stephen Farry at BT Riverside Tower this afternoon.
Northern Ireland has been chosen as the location for a state-of-the-art contact centre, creating around 120 new jobs.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry today announced the major investment by BT which is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland through funding of £568,000 under its Jobs Fund. The Department for Employment and Learning has offered over £108,000 of training support under its Assured Skills programme.
Located in Belfast’s Riverside Tower, the centre will provide flexible support to different parts of BT Group where there is a short-term need for additional resource. As such it will require multi-skilled advisors and managers. It will also have the latest contact centre technology to help employees deal with the diverse situations they will handle.
Announcing the investment Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster said: “This is another boost for the Business Services sector in Northern Ireland, which is a key driver of economic growth. The jobs being created by this project will contribute £2.9million a year in salaries to the economy.
“BT considered other locations for this project and it is due to the positive experience that the company has had here in terms of the calibre of staff, and the support offered by Invest NI and DEL, that it decided to further invest here.”
BT has a long history of investing in Northern Ireland. Other major investments by the Group include two centres of excellence for digital customer care and a Global Development Centre. It already employs over 2,500 people here, which results in £83million in wages and salary spend. BT’s fibre broadband rollout in Northern Ireland is one of the most rapid in the world.
Dr Farry added: “Assured Skills has played a vital role in securing these jobs for Northern Ireland. The flexibility of the programme allows us to support indigenous companies such as BT who want to expand their skills base and grow their business.”
Colm O’Neill, CEO BT Northern Ireland, said: “Given the worldwide competition for foreign direct investment, we are delighted that BT Group has selected Belfast as the location for this unique contact centre. In addition to the significant BT Northern Ireland operation, BT Group will now have four additional centres in Northern Ireland – including a global research and development centre and two digital care centres – employing more than 1,000 people. We believe this is a great vote of confidence in Northern Ireland and the potential growth opportunities that exist here for us, and is a further step in BT’s objective to become number one for customer service.
“Invest NI’s support has allowed us to move quickly to the recruitment stage so that the centre can become effective as soon as possible. The support from DEL under Assured Skills will help us deliver quality workplace training to the new recruits, who will be required to deliver a range of services."
Invest NI’s Jobs Fund was set up to stimulate job creation in response to the challenges of the global economic downturn. The fund has a ring-fenced budget of £19million and aims to create 4,000 jobs by 2014.