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THE ECONOMIC gloom hanging over the country lifted a little with IT systems and services group Computacenter announcing 900 new jobs.

These jobs will be created at the company's offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol and Reading. The company also created 625 jobs earlier this year.

The latest vacancies were unveiled after the company became a Microsoft Alliance Partner, which allows it to extend the range of Microsoft services it offers to customers.

The deal was announced last week at a Computacenter conference, which was attended by Peter Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

"The availability of high-quality IT support is vital for British companies to compete successfully in the global economy," said Mr Mandelson.

However, the creation of these new jobs in a service industry highlights the fact that the strong pound and weakened foreign markets are having more of an impact in manufacturing industries.


1 Greenock, near Glasgow: 600 jobs at US computer chip manufacturer National Semiconductor.

2 Congleton and Brindley Ford, Cheshire, and Langley Moor, near Durham: 300 jobs at sportswear and packaging group Robert H Lowe.

3 Gloucestershire: 500 jobs to go at Rank Xerox photocopier plant over the next two years as part of restructuring.

4 Livingston, Scotland: Seagate Microelectronics announced that it was putting its factory up for sale, which has thrown into doubt the future of the American-owned plant's 275 employees.

5 Washington, Tyne and Wear: 200 jobs under threat at clothing manufacturer JPS, where receivers have been called in.


6 London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol and Reading: 900 jobs announced by Computacenter as it creates new positions after becoming a Microsoft Alliance Partner.

7 Derby: 1,500 jobs to be created over three years as Prudential sets up a direct banking and assurance business.

8 Liverpool: Sonae Industries of Portugal will build a factory to manufacture particleboard, in the process creating 220 jobs. Another 700 jobs will be created in related industries, while building the factory itself will provide 800 short-term jobs.

9 Cwmbran, near Newport, South Wales: 400 jobs created by electronics manufacturer Karavale Enterprises.

10 Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: Tarmac will create 1,000 new jobs in the construction of a new headquarters for GCHQ, the Government's listening station.

11 Liverpool: Insurer AXA Direct to create 290 new jobs.