- SSE Airtricity is creating 143 jobs in Belfast in a relocation of its existing customer service centres in the city. The announcement was made today by Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster (centre) with Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director, SSE Airtricity (left) and Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest Northern Ireland.
SSE Airtricity is Northern Ireland’s second largest energy provider, supplying greener electricity and natural gas to over 300,000 homes and businesses across the country. Since 2008 SSE has invested half a billion pounds in the development of Northern Ireland’s sustainable energy infrastructure.
A Living Wage employer SSE Airtricity currently employs 98 staff in two Belfast offices and is creating 143 additional jobs in support of its growing energy retail operations in Ireland. The new call centre roles will be in the areas of customer service, sales and administrative support.
All existing and new staff will be based in the company’s new corporate premises at Millennium House on Belfast’s Great Victoria Street. It is expected that the company’s current Belfast workforce will relocate to the new premier city centre location in September.
Making the announcement, Arlene Foster said: “This investment represents further growth in Northern Ireland’s important business services sector, which already boasts a number of international companies that have been attracted here by the cost-competitive environment.
“The salaries for the 143 new jobs will generate an additional £2.6m a year for the economy and confirms SSE Airtricity’s continuing commitment to Northern Ireland.”
Invest Northern Ireland has offered almost £700,000 of support for the jobs and associated training, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
“The assistance made available through Invest NI’s Skills Growth Programme is a key element in attracting the new jobs to Belfast. The training proposed includes recognised qualifications through City and Guilds and IICM, which will enhance the skills pool in Northern Ireland,” added Arlene Foster.
Stephen Wheeler, SSE Airtricity Managing Director, said: “We chose Northern Ireland because of the talented, youthful, enthusiastic and capable workforce that is available here and which has already played such a vital role in our business growth to date in Northern Ireland, as well as the needs of our existing and new customers. The support of Invest Northern Ireland will help us to continue to invest in developing our talent pool with both our existing workforce as well as for the new roles that we will create.
“As Northern Ireland’s second largest energy provider we are committed to further increasing our share of the energy market here and our investment in new jobs and a new Belfast call centre at an expanded and central office location is our latest demonstration of that commitment. These new jobs along with the funding and training support of Invest NI will enable us at SSE Airtricity to build on the quality of our existing workforce, continue to deliver a high quality and great value service to our customers, and fuel our sustainable business growth for the future.”
In September 2013, SSE became the first company in the top third of the FTSE to be an accredited Living Wage employer. It remains the only major energy supplier in the UK to commit to the measure.