£5.5m wage boost as Eishtec call centre creates 320 new jobs
A call centre firm is adding 320 jobs at its newly unveiled Northern Ireland offices. Eishtec is adding the posts at its service centre outside Lurgan in Co Armagh.
It is adding the jobs to its ever-growing workforce over the next three years.
The new jobs will bring in more than £5.5m each year in salaries, and will include a variety of roles including management and team leader positions.
They will pay an average of around £17,000 a year. Some 60 of the jobs are already in place at the Silverwood Business Park.
Eishtec's co-owner and director Colm Tracey said it had chosen to expand into the wider Craigavon area "because of the large pool of talent available".
"We are aware that a significant number of people would prefer to work closer to home rather than continue to commute to Belfast or perhaps might want to return to work after a career break," he said.
"The impetus to set up a third customer service centre was through increased demand from our core client EE.
"However, our objective is to significantly expand our customer base and the Craigavon site will also service other clients and play a vital role as we diversify and grow our business."
He said the Co Armagh operation would value new staff.
"With the right training and career progression we can create a positive environment for our new employees to develop and help us further strengthen our offering to clients," he said.
Invest NI is putting forward £1.5m towards the new jobs, while the Department for Employment and Learning has contributed more than £300,000 towards training.
Welcoming the announcement, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said Craigavon fought off stiff competition from other locations in Scotland, Wales and the Republic to secure the jobs.
"Thanks to the hard work of Invest NI we have been able to secure this project for Northern Ireland, which is good news for the economy," she said.
Employment Minister Stephen Farry said Northern Ireland "continues to show that it has the talent and skills available to support business needs".
"This is evident in Eishtec's decision to locate in Craigavon creating these new jobs," said Mr Farry.
"I am committed to working with our inward investors and local companies to help them meet their skills needs and hence achieve their business objectives."
Republic-based Eishtec - headed by Belfast man Colm Tracey - provides call centre customer service and technical support for mobile telecoms firms.
That includes UK mobile giant EE, formerly Everything Everywhere, which claims to be the UK's biggest 4G network.
Eishtec started life in 2011 with nine staff, and in just four years now boasts a workforce of more than 1,100 across sites in Waterford and Wexford, plus the 320 new jobs in Craigavon. Most of the jobs will pay a wage of around £17,000, but some will be management positions which will pay more.