900 jobs for North Belfast
There was good news at last for the North of the city last week as the computer giant TeleTech confirmed that it will be occupying a hi-tech factory in Duncairn Gardens within weeks with an £11 million investment package.
Politicians and community leaders have welcomed the creation of 900 jobs.
TeleTech, one of the world's leading e-commerce business companies, will be opening an e-commerce call centre at the site.
The deal was clinched after a senior TeleTech executive held a top secret meeting with North Belfast community leaders at the site two weeks ago. The executive was assured he would have the full support of both communities if the company set up in this interface area.
Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly said that the 900 jobs would be a tremendous boost for all the people of North Belfast.
``This is an area clearly in need of inward investment,'' the Assembly member said. ``For too long such areas have been denied the benefits of the peace process. This is an issue Sinn Féin has been working hard to resolve.''
Kelly warned that ``while such investment can only be welcomed, we must also be sure that this company is here for the long term. There have been too many times in the past when the people of Belfast have had their hopes raised only to be let down by foreign investors. We must also ensure that these new jobs will be well paid and that the rights of those employed in any new venture will be protected.''
It is understood that the company has agreed to set aside at least £2 million for training in the local community. The TeleTech chief said employees in the new call-centre should each expect to earn between Stg£12,000 and Stg£15,000 annually.