Vijayawada– Information Technology giant HCL on Thursday signed a MoU with Andhra Pradesh to set up IT and training centres in Vijayawada and Amaravati.

HCL will invest Rs 500 crore in 10 years in the projects.

The company signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the state government at a ceremony here in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and HCL chairman and founder Shiv Nadar.

Naidu sought the cooperation of HCL to make Andhra Pradesh a knowledge hub. He said that HCL would emerge as a trendsetter in promoting IT in the state.

The proposed projects of HCL are expected to provide employment to 5,000 local residents. Under the first phase which will begin in May this year, HCL plans to invest Rs 300 crore providing employment to 3,000 people. The second phase is likely to commence in 2022.

The IT giant has promised to operationalise the IT Centre and Skill Development Centre, involving 500 odd professionals, by August 2018.

HCL intends to promote a walk-to-work environment in Amaravati, the capital city, in tune with Naidu’s vision.

The project also envisages setting up a campus of the IT & ITES city project.

Shiv Nadar said this was an innovative initiative to reach out to the local talent, refine their skills and make them future ready for IT careers.

“Our main idea is to encourage women who are well educated in the southern part. That’s how this idea came up,” he said adding that HCL is ready to promote a creative workforce for global companies. The company has the largest R&D wing with 6000 people.