Investment boost for Northern Ireland by BT

BT Group selects Northern Ireland as the location for 120 jobs

BT today announced that it is creating a new state-of-the-art contact centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The centre will provide around 120 new jobs for multi-skilled customer service advisors and managers who can work flexibly across any part of BT Group that requires additional resource quickly. This latest investment by BT Group brings the number of people employed by the company in Northern Ireland to more than 2,600.

The elite centre is a unique concept for BT Group, set up to be a highly skilled, flexible resource centre that can provide extra capacity to different parts of the company quickly and help enhance the service BT provides to its customers.

To help the new advisors handle a wide range of situations, products and services, from superfast fibre-optic broadband technology to IT services, BT will make a significant investment in state-of-the-art contact centre technology in the new centre in Riverside Tower.

BT will shortly commence the recruitment of both advisors and managers who can manage a diverse range of work with BT’s customers locally and internationally. Recruitment will be managed by BT through telephone interviews and an assessment centre. All staff will attend new entrant training of around five weeks’ duration. Further training will be given to advisors, as required, to enable them to carry out specialist activities. Training will begin in mid-July, and the centre will open in August 2012.

According to a report by Regeneris on BT’s economic impact for the year ending March 2011, BT employs one in every six people working in the IT and communications sectors in Northern Ireland, resulting in £83million in wages and salary spend. In Northern Ireland, the company is also undertaking one of the most rapid fibre broadband rollouts in the world and soon 89 per cent of phone lines will be connected to a fibre-enabled street cabinet.

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.”

The new centre is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland, which has offered more than £568,000 of support under its Jobs Fund. The Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) has offered more than £108,000 of training support under its Assured Skills programme.

Colm O’Neill added: “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.”

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