Archive for the 'Latest News' Category

Foster secures £133million funding for police and fire fighter pensions

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Finance Minister Arlene Foster has secured around £133million funding from HM Treasury to meet the cost of pension settlements for affected retired police and fire fighters in Northern Ireland.

The settlements will follow a determination by the Pensions Ombudsman, which upholds a complaint made by a retired Scottish fire fighter, that he should have received a larger retirement lump sum than he actually received. The ruling also applies in respect of the Northern Ireland police and fire fighter pension schemes.

The Finance Minister said: “There are significant cost implications, in the region of £133million, arising from the Ombudsman’s ruling. At a time when budgets are already severely stretched, this would have put unprecedented pressure on the budgets of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, and the Department of Justice who have overall responsibility for the fire fighter and police pension schemes respectively.

“Following negotiations with the Chancellor, I have been able to secure the necessary funding from HM Treasury to meet the upfront costs associated with making payments to the affected pensioners. As a result, we will avoid the potentially catastrophic consequences of the two Departments having to absorb these costs.

“Work is now underway to ensure that affected pensioners receive appropriate payments in a timely manner.”

Foster and Farry announce 800 Teleperformance jobs in Fermanagh

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Finance Minister Arlene Foster MLA, and Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry today announced that Teleperformance intends to create 800 new jobs in Enniskillen, Fermanagh.

Teleperformance is a leading outsourced customer service management company and this new centre in Enniskillen is its third in Northern Ireland. The company plans to create the new jobs by 2018.

Making the announcement, Finance Minister Arlene Foster said: “This major investment is great news for Northern Ireland and I am delighted to have played a part in the journey that has brought Teleperformance to Fermanagh. I have taken an active interest in the company’s involvement in Northern Ireland and have been privileged to engage with them over the last number of years. Securing this further investment for Fermanagh marks another tremendous milestone which I am proud to be a part of.

“A reinvestment by this international company is a significant endorsement for Northern Ireland and what we have to offer companies as a place to do business.

“The new centre will deliver a number of benefits to the local economy, not least the creation of 800 new jobs and the generation of £12million per annum in salaries.

“The job opportunities created will not only benefit people in Enniskillen but also those in the surrounding areas. There will be a wide variety of roles appealing to those looking to develop their career, and those looking to return to work. There will also be opportunities for young people, who will benefit greatly from training and skills development as they begin their working career.”

Invest NI has offered £2.5million of support towards the project. The Department of Employment and Learning has offered £249,500 of support through Assured Skills for pre-employment training for 100 people.

The Finance Minister said: “This was a highly mobile project. Indeed there was stiff competition with other international locations for this new establishment. However, thanks to the positive experience the company has had here to date, combined with the efforts of Invest NI and DEL, we have been able to secure the project for Northern Ireland.”

Minister Farry said: “Since Teleperformance opened its first operation in Bangor in 1998 it has built up a strong reputation for developing and delivering consistent, quality customer service experiences, which is made possible by the skills on offer in Northern Ireland.

“Assured Skills support from my Department will ensure the training and skills development needs of Teleperformance staff are met. Teleperformance Customer Service Academies will start in 2016. This Academy is once again an excellent example of government intervention to enhance the skills of the unemployed and will be delivered by South West College at their Enniskillen Campus.

“The new jobs will provide a variety of opportunities, offering flexible meaningful employment in a range of positions and the opportunity to develop important, transferable skills.”

Speaking on behalf of the company, Alistair Niederer, CEO for Teleperformance UK, Ireland and RSA said: “We are delighted to be growing our presence in Northern Ireland, and to be creating this new contact centre here in Enniskillen.

“It is our objective to provide world class customer service through our top quality, well trained staff. It is our philosophy to transform passion into excellence and Northern Ireland had proven to be a great place for us to do this.

“We see the commitment of our staff and the superior service they are able to provide as an important part of our competitive advantage. People considering applying for the new jobs here in Enniskillen should be assured of our commitment to provide training and a stimulating and motivational place to work.

“The support we have had from Invest NI and DEL, not only on this project but in general, has been extremely important to our business’ continued success here. We look forward to working with the local community to make this new centre in Enniskillen a real success.”