13/06/2006

1,000 Jobs To Be Created In Belfast

Around 1,000 jobs are to be created in Belfast, it has been announced.

Indian company, ICICI OneSource, one of the country's largest business processing outsourcing (BPO) firms, is to open a call centre in the city, creating over 1,000 jobs over the next two-years.

The announcement was made today by Secretary of State, Peter Hain, who led a successful business mission to India in April, where he met ICICI bosses and clarified details of the deal.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Hain said: “Northern Ireland is clearly the most competitive near shore option for companies seeking a base to service western European markets.

“This is the first Indian based BPO company to directly invest in Northern Ireland and the second investment to result from the successful Invest NI business mission I lead to India in April. This investment illustrates the international confidence in and the high growth potential of Northern Ireland’s contact centre sector.

“This is a key target growth sector and the jobs created will provide a broad range of career and training opportunities in a number of areas including customer service and IT support.”

The investment, supported by Invest Northern Ireland, is expected to deliver over £28 million in wages and salaries to the local economy by 2008.

It will see ICICI OneSource set up its first European contact centre in Belfast, which will deliver a full range of high end business processing services.

The Secretary of State said: “The increasing number of commitments made by global companies including ICICI OneSource demonstrates the growing worldwide recognition of Northern Ireland as a value for money location with a highly skilled, talented workforce. In addition, it confirms the finding of the recent OMIS report which highlighted Northern Ireland as the number one location for contact centres in the UK.”

Ananda Mukerji, Chief Executive Officer of ICICI OneSource said: “Our Northern Ireland centres will be our first outsourcing operation based in Europe. We have a strong market presence in the UK and we see significant demand for high-end business processing which our Northern Ireland centres will be ideally placed to fulfil.”

The Belfast centre will be based at Linenhall Plaza and is expected to be operational by the end of July 2006 with recruitment already underway.

The second centre is planned to open later this year and the company is currently considering a number of potential locations.

(EF/SP)

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