Posted on Thursday 20 February 2014 by Ulster Business

EE Launch film Kevin Bacon 0

Mobile network operator EE is to create 250 customer service jobs in Northern Ireland as part of a move to bring 1,000 jobs back to the UK from overseas service centres.

EE – which was formed in 2010 through a merger of major mobile brands Orange and T-Mobile – said the jobs would be put in place over the next two years, starting from Spring 2014.

The company - also known as Everything Everywhere - has recently promoted its brand through a quirky advertising campaign featuring 1980s film star Kevin Bacon and is the first of the major networks to roll out a 4G mobile service in Northern Ireland.

EE did not say where the Northern Ireland jobs would be based and said the location of the remaining 750 roles that are being re-shored would be announced in due course.

The positive news came as it was confirmed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland had fallen for the 12th consecutive month, with the decrease of 600 in January meaning the claimant count has reduced by 6,200 in the past year.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: "I'm very proud that EE is leading the UK telecoms industry, delivering not only the first but the biggest and fastest 4G network for the country. And within 18 months, I want to be able to say that EE has done for customer service in the UK what it has done for networks. And a major step towards this is returning 1,000 customer service jobs to the UK, where performance has been shown to exceed that of overseas contact centres."

The company's move also brought endorsement from Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: "It's great news that EE is bringing over 1,000 jobs back to the UK. As part of our long term economic plan, I believe we can become the world's leading re-shoring nation and provide new opportunities for hard working people.

"I'm also delighted that the successful EE apprenticeship scheme will be expanded to help even more young people develop their skills."

On top of the service centre jobs, EE also said it planned to almost triple the size of its apprenticeship scheme to over 1,300 by the end of 2015. To date, the company said it has hired 80% of the 460 apprentices who have completed the programme and it plans to continue this level of job offers.

The company recently announced plans to expand its presence on high streets across the UK in 2014, which will see it open 50 retail stores this year, creating an additional 350 new jobs.



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