Nortel Networks is to create 1800 new jobs in the UK as part of a global investment program in its optical networks production capacity.
The move comes as part of a $400 million investment to triple its optical carrier products manufacturing capability and create a total of 5,000 new jobs over the next year.
Nortel said today it plans to expand existing facilities in Paignton in south of England and Monkstown in Northern Ireland and build new precision laser fabrication plants in Ottawa and Montreal.
It also plans to beef up staff numbers in its professional services division in the US.
The move goes some way towards reversing a restructuring plan unveiled earlier this year, which aimed to reduce the Nortel workforce by 10 per cent by slashing 8000 jobs).
An earlier 3500 redundancies were announced in September 1998, as a result of Nortel's $9.1 billion acquisition of Bay Networks. Six hundred positions were cut at the vendor's Paignton facility at this time.
Many of the later job losses were to come as the result of factory closures in Burnaby, British Columbia and Belleville and the sale of repair operations.
Nortel chief executive John Roth said the new expansion would "help Nortel lead in building the optical Internet."
The vendor has already doubled its manufacturing capacity this year and tripling this facility again would enable it to keep ahead of customer demand, Roth said. Nortel could have sold more systems in the last quarter if its capacity had been greater, he said.
Both new plants are expected to be open by mid next year.
Nortel's growth and earnings forecasts would not change as the increased production capacity had already been factored into its predictions, Roth said.
Canadian Minister for Industry John Manley said the Nortel's local investment would help the government achieve its goal of making Canada the most connected country in the world.
The country suffers a perennial skill exodus because of its proximity to the US, where salaries for high tech workers are much higher.
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