25/02/2009

Jobs Boost For NI As Gem Expands

There was some good news this week as NI Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed a substantial number of new jobs in an established call centre organisation.

Gem, which currently employs 1,000 people, will fill an anticipated 900 new posts by 2012.

The company already provides a range of multi-channel, multi-lingual support services across three existing sites - Lanyon Place and East Bridge Street in Belfast and at Claremont International Business Centre in Londonderry.

But the additional jobs, aided by a £5.5m contribution from Invest NI, are to be created in other locations.

The move is expected to generate £14m in annual salaries with Invest NI offering £5.5m of support toward the investment.

Welcoming the announcement, the Minister said: "Once again, this region's cost competitiveness and strong talent pool has resulted in a major investment by an internationally successful firm.

"Gem will provide career progression opportunities coupled with the further development of professional, transferable skills.
News Image
"This is a great boost for NI at a time where the global economy continues to impact on local businesses and when many companies are deferring investment plans.

"It will see gem double its workforce to 1,800 and competitively position the company as it prepares to take full advantage of global opportunities as they arise," she said.

Meanwhile, NI Employment Minister, Sir Reg Empey, separately announced that people participating in government employment and training programmes will soon be eligible for higher levels of assistance towards childcare costs.

This new initiative comes into effect in April and will be made available to lone parents and partners of certain benefit claimants participating on the Department for Employment and Learning's Steps to Work, Training for Success and Pathways to Work Preparation programmes.

The Minister said: "Assistance towards the cost of childcare is an important factor in many lone parents and partners decisions to take part in employment and training programmes.

"This increase in the level of assistance will greatly help those with childcare responsibilities to join programmes such as Steps to Work, which will provide participants with the skills to find and sustain employment."

(BMcC/JM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 July 2019
Other News In Brief
Kittens Rescued After Being Dumped In Co Tyrone Canal A member of the public has entered a canal in County Tyrone and rescued several kittens that were discarded in a bag. The incident at Coalisland Canal comes just five weeks after a dog was stolen from its owner and weighed down in the water.
28 August 2018
Devenish Chosen To Take Part In UK Trade Mission To Africa
Belfast-based agri-technology company, Devenish, is to travel to Africa alongside UK Prime Minister Theresa May, on her first official visit to the continent.
19 October 2017
Former US President To Meet With Prime Minister
Former US President Bill Clinton is to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the current political crisis in Northern Ireland. Mr Clinton has already met with political leaders in Belfast, and he will hold talks with Mrs May in London today, 19 October.
04 July 2019
Other News In Brief
SDLP Condemn Co Antrim Attack An SDLP Councillor has condemned an attack on homes in Cushendall, County Antrim. Police are investigating a "loud bang" heard in the rural village on the evening of Wednesday 03 July, and said damage was caused to the door of a property and two cars parked nearby.