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250 'jobs-from-India' earmarked for Belfast

'Reverses the trend'

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Some 250 new jobs are to be created in Northern Ireland after an Indian IT company agreed to expand its operation in Belfast.

In a reversal of the recent "jobs-to-India" trend, HCL BPO is beefing up its call centre in Belfast to take-on new business in Europe and the UK as it provides contact services for companies in the retail, banking and commercial sectors.

Development agency Invest NI is backing the jobs with more than £900,000 in grants as part of the £1.9m investment in the new centre.

Said Economy Minister Barry Gardiner: "This investment is especially significant as it reverses the trend. Many similar call centres have relocated outside Northern Ireland. Here we have a leading company from India investing in Northern Ireland. HCL's global strategy is to increase its business in Europe and the US."

HCL employs more than 13,000 people around the world - including a software development operation in England - and has sales in excess of $1bn (£560m).

The news comes as the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union continues to fight plans to export 250 government jobs to India. Stepping up its campaign to prevent jobs from the National Savings Agency in Blackpool, Durham and Glasgow being shunted to India, the union says that government coffers will lose out on £25m in lost tax and extra benefit payments. ®

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