Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Mobile giant EE brings home the Bacon

Mobile giant back from overseas with 250 new jobs

Sizzling: film star Kevin Bacon in an advertising campaign for EE, which is repatriating jobs back to the UK

MOBILE phone giant EE is bringing 250 jobs back to Northern Ireland from overseas after being wooed at an investment conference held in Belfast last October.

And it's understood that the unemployment blackspot of Londonderry could be front runner as a location for the new jobs.

The news is part of a larger announcement that will see EE return 1,000 customer service jobs to the UK from call centres abroad.

And 250 roles, mainly in customer support services, will come to Northern Ireland in the spring, but it is not yet known where they will be based.

EE, also known as Everything Everywhere, combines the services of the T Mobile and Orange networks. Back in October the company took part in a round table discussion with the Prime Minister David Cameron about investing in Northern Ireland.

It is understood that the company has visited a number of locations in Northern Ireland, including in the north west, to look at locations, with Derry potentially being in pole position.

The two-day investment conference in October 2013 came on the back of the G8 summit held in Fermanagh last summer, with First Minister Peter Robinson predicting it could bring hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs to Northern Ireland. It was attended by 150 potential and existing investors.

A spokeswoman for Invest Northern Ireland confirmed that EE was part of the event.

"EE participated in a round table talk with the Prime Minister about what Northern Ireland has to offer as an investment location." she said.

EE is also investing £50m in 2014 in new digital tools and platforms and recently announced that it is expanding its presence on high streets across the UK this year, with the opening of 50 retail stores creating an additional 350 new jobs.

Meanwhile EE's apprenticeship scheme aims to provide opportunities to more than 1,300 young people by the end of 2015.

To date, the company has hired 80% of the 460 apprentices who have completed the programme.

EE plans to continue to offer full time positions to the majority of the apprentices, many of whom are in areas of high unemployment.

The growth of the programme is part of a major drive from EE to tackle youth unemployment.

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