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'This is the flagship of our growing operation'.

Byline: Sion Barry

US COMPANY Conduit is creating 600 new jobs in Cardiff, the Echo can exclusively reveal.

In a major jobs boost the company - which already employs 1,900 at two contact centres in the capital and at a third in Swansea - is now actively recruiting for 320 staff, while the remaining 280 will be in place by the end of the year.

The firm's expansion follows a new contract win with British Gas.

Its investment is being backed with training support from the Welsh Government.

performance we're The new jobs will be located at Conduit's new offices at the Fusion Point office scheme in the centre of Cardiff. It also has offices at Cardiff Gate.

First Minister Carwyn Jones, who is in London today with Business Minister Edwina Hart attending the Joint Ministerial Committee, described it as excellent news and another major investment for the professional and financial services sector in Wales.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Jones said: "Today's announcement is yet another indication that Welsh Government policies are having a beneficial effect supporting the economy and creating jobs during these difficult times.

"Last week we heard that for two months in a row the Welsh labour market employment rate and inactivity rate have outperformed the UK as a whole, over both the quarter and the year.

"Professional and financial services are a key growth sector for the Welsh economy and I am delighted that Conduit is yet again expanding its operations in Wales.

why here...

"Cardiff is an increasingly attractive centre for financial and professional services having the UK's first dedicated enterprise zone [Central Business District] for this sector.

"It supports and complements Cardiff's Central Business District where plans in-clude a pounds 1bn investment to create capacity for 40,000 new jobs."

Conduit's new contract is with British Gas Homecare Service.

Mrs Hart welcomed the news and the significant number of jobs the company was creating.

She said: "The economy and jobs are top of the Welsh Government's agenda and I am pleased that using the economic levers we have at our disposal, such as creating sector-specific enterprise zones, we continue to attract and retain world class business in Wales."

Chief executive of Conduit Europe, Denis Creighton said: "Conduit operates in 10 different countries and Wales generates the best customer service and performance indicators across the board. "Wales delivers our best performance figures, period.

"And that's why we're planning to focus future growth here.

"We are delighted to open this new centre and create more than 600 jobs this year. Fusion Point 1 will be the flagship of our growing operation."

Conduit is a wholly owned subsidiary of the US-based kgb (formerly InfoNXX Inc group), the world's largest independent directory assistance provider and the fastest growing customer care provider in the US.

CAPTION(S):

* Offices at Fusion Point, in the centre of Cardiff * The customer contact centre will create hundreds of new jobs
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 20, 2012
Words:488
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