Belfast call centre defies recession with plans to double its workforce

A call centre will nearly double its workforce within three years, in a move that defies the economic downturn.

Belfast-based Gem is looking to employ an extra 900 employees by 2012 on top of its 1,000-strong workforce to cope with a growth in its business from key technology customers, including Cisco and Microsoft.

Gem could not confirm how many of the new jobs would be full-time, but they will include customer service agents, sales agents, technical support and managerial positions.

Managing director Philip Cassidy said the move highlighted how contact centres were moving their operations back from India to Europe.

He told the BBC: “There is a particular contact that suits that [the Indian] environment and the more complex type of transactions really suit the UK market and that’s where we’re able to grow”.

Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, coach-building firm Wrightbus announced plans to make 235 of its 1,000 staff redundant, following the sudden cancellation of an order from one of its main customers.

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