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Following the global trend of increased outsourcing activity, Northern Ireland has seen an increasing number of public and private sector outsourcing projects in recent years, ranging from outsourcing of information technology services and customer relationship management to property and facilities management. Increasingly, companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are considering offshore outsourcing to benefit from the lower labour costs available elsewhere. In the financial sector, a growing number of bluechip investors such as Abbey, Halifax, HBOS, and US corporations such as Allstate and Liberty IT, have outsourced a broad range of functions to Northern Ireland. Indeed, for the third successive year, Mitial described Belfast as the “most efficient location overall” to establish a contact centre operation. The same survey said that wages and salaries in Northern Ireland were up to 20% lower than the rest of the UK, while it had the lowest attrition level in the British Isles, which at 15% is half of that in Glasgow and Dublin.

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