Hundreds of jobs set to go at call centre firm Firstsource Solutions

Firstsource Solutions expected to cut 500 jobs in its Northern Ireland operation

Firstsource's Belfast base at Olive Tree House on Fountain Street.
Firstsource's Belfast base at Olive Tree House on Fountain Street. Firstsource's Belfast base at Olive Tree House on Fountain Street.

IN the region of 500 jobs are set to be lost at call centre operator Firstsource Solutions.

The Indian-owned business currently employs around 1,100 people at sites in Belfast and Derry. It also employs a considerable number of ‘at home’ workers.

But the company has confirmed that it has embarked on a redundancy consultation process due to changes around its contract with Sky, one of its biggest customers.

It's understood that the completion of the redundancy process will trigger compulsory lay-offs.

Around 200 jobs are set to go at the Firstsource site in Derry’s Springtown industrial estate.

Another 100 roles are expected to be lost at the company’s 600-seater call centre at Olive Tree House on Belfast’s Fountain Street.

An additional 200 remote workers are also expected to lose their job. It's understood those employees are based all over the UK, but are aligned to the Derry site. 

It comes just one day after Ulster Bank confirmed 250 jobs will go in Northern Ireland. The workers were among the largely Belfast-based staff who worked exclusively on Ulster Bank's operation in the Republic, which is winding down.

Firstsource had employed upwards of 1,600 people in Northern Ireland two years ago.

The company's workforce grew after signing a 10-year contract with Sky in 2017 to expand its relationship. That work largely involved Sky's operation in the Republic.

In a statement, Firstsource confirmed that it had launched a redundancy consultation process on Thursday with staff in Belfast and Derry.

“The changing priorities of one of our clients, Sky, means they are making proposals to adjust services currently being delivered across both sites.

“Staff impacted have been informed today and as a responsible employer, we are working closely to support them throughout this process.

“Firstsource remains committed to Northern Ireland at both sites as we continue to deliver a range of services for our outsourcing clients.”

The call centre firm also met with political representatives on Thursday afternoon.

Speaking afterward a meeting with the company, Derry-based SDLP MLA Sinead McLaughlin confirmed that Firstsource is seeking 500 redundancies.

“At an already hugely difficult time for workers, my thoughts are first and foremost with those potentially affected and their families," she said.

“Firstsource has been an important employer in our city and the news of any number of redundancies will cause real damage to our economy.”