Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has expressed her disappointment at the large number of potential job losses at HCL-BPO Services (NI) Limited.
HCL-BPO Services has been based in Northern Ireland since 2002.
Arlene Foster said: "This is a dreadful blow to those affected and my thoughts are with them and their families. It is a worrying time for everyone and whilst I appreciate the headline figures are shocking, I am somewhat encouraged by the commitment of HCL to try and redeploy 40% of those affected, thereby mitigating the impact of today’s announcement.
“Regarding the proposed closure of the Armagh facility, Invest Northern Ireland will be proactively engaging with both existing and prospective investors to encourage them to consider the location which has an established infrastructure and skilled workforce as an excellent investment opportunity.
“I want to assure staff that, together with Invest NI and colleagues in the Department for Employment and Learning, we will do all that is possible to limit the impact of any redundancies.”
The Minister continued: “I am reassured that today’s announcement is purely a reaction to wider commercial circumstances and in no way questions HCL’s longer term commitment to Northern Ireland. Belfast is one of HCL’s UK Centres of Excellence for Customer Experience Management and I welcome their commitment to develop this further which would enable them to sustain and grow employment in Northern Ireland over time.
“Over recent years HCL has been a valued employer and investor in Northern Ireland and they have helped to position Northern Ireland as a competitive investment location. HCL has also played a key role in encouraging other Indian companies such as Firstsource and L&T Infotech to locate offices here.
“This announcement is a reflection of the ongoing impact of the global economic downturn and my department, through Invest NI, is in constant dialogue with businesses about the difficulties they are facing and what can be done to alleviate them. A wide range of support is available through the Boosting Business initiative, and in particular, the Jobs Fund provides specific support for contact centres.”
Arlene Foster concluded: “We are determined to do everything that we can to help businesses here. While there is no easy fix and the measures being taken will take time to have effect, we have confidence that Northern Ireland remains a competitive investment location for high value business services.”
Information and advice for individuals affected by potential redundancy is available from the nidirect website