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UK call centres back in fashion

16th Jan 2007
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Powergen is to create 150 new jobs in Nottingham after deciding to close its Indian call centres last year.

The utilities company, which is owned by German group E.ON, started using call centres in India in 2001 because of the cost savings it could make. But last year managing director Nick Horler said the company believed that customer service would improve by operating out of the UK only.

Powergen has since created call centres in Bedford, Bolton, Leicester, Rayleigh in Essex and Nottingham and recruited 1,000 staff last year, but is now looking to take on more permanent and part-time personnel.

A company spokesman said the move back to the UK had led the firm to rise from last to second place in the Energywatch league table as customer service levels improved “dramatically” over the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, Yell, which owns Yellow Pages, has said that it intends to build a multi-million pound call centre for its Yellow Pages 118 24 7 service in Newport, Gwent. The initiative could create more than 250 new Welsh jobs over the next four years and almost double the number of the international directory business’ current full-time staff members working on the service. Calls could be taken on the site as early as this April.

Yell has won a grant of up to £910,000 from the Welsh Assembly to help towards building the new site, but the contact centre industry is worth £400 million to the Welsh economy. Analyst house ContactBabel forecasts that the sector will grow by 18 per cent in the country between 2005 and 2008.

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