THREE former senior managers of Talk Talk, which axed 575 jobs when it pulled out of Waterford last year, are behind a company that is now creating 250 jobs in the city.
Brian Barry, Heather Reynolds and Colm Tracey were all senior staff for the call centre operator, which managed customer support for UK-based customers, before it decided to pull out last September.
Mr Barry served as a director on the board of Talk Talk Broadband Services, while Mr Tracey and Ms Reynolds worked as call centre managers.
They worked for the British company until mid-2011, when they left to set up on their own.
The three are behind consultancy firm Eishtec, which yesterday announced it would create 250 sales campaign jobs in Co Waterford this year.
Mr Tracey told the Irish Independent that the ex-managers were proud to be able to provide jobs to some of those who had lost them.
"We are hoping to be able to give jobs back to some of those from Talk Talk. But we're not just focusing on Talk Talk, but many more as well," he said.
The company was founded six months ago by the three locals who have a combined experience of more than 30 years in the contact centre industry. It currently employs 30 people at its facility on the Cleaboy Business Park.
Eishtec is now embarking on a major recruitment drive after securing an important contract with telecommunications giant Orange.
"We're delighted we can maintain a proud tradition in Waterford of providing market-leading customer services to blue-chip organisations," Ms Reynolds said.
"We have the skills and experience in our team to provide the highest quality services to Orange and help support the achievement of its business objectives," she added.
The expansion of Eishtec's new custom-built facility was part-funded by the taxpayer through Enterprise Ireland (EI).
However, a spokesperson for EI said that it was not policy to reveal the amount of taxpayer funds granted to companies.
The boost for the region comes just over four months after Talk Talk made the shock announcement that it was closing down its Waterford city contact centre.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the new jobs, to be in place by the middle of this year, would be a much-needed boost for the entire south-east.
"However, we are not going to address the region's problems overnight," he said.
He hoped the news would be "the first of a number of milestones over time that can see the south-east fight back."
Mr Bruton said that the Government could not create new jobs and it was up to successful companies to come up with plans and develop their markets in order to expand.
Mr Bruton said he could not commit to any future job creation projects but the Government would "support companies" that came forward with plans.