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NTL is ridding itself of 1500 workers in a massive cull of call centre jobs.

Some 200 staff have been given the elbow today, while a further 200 to 300 are expected to be made redundant over the next 18 months or so.

The rest will go through natural staff turnover over the next couple of years.

Following the cull, the number of people working for NTL's customer support will fall from around 4,500 to 3,000.

NTL currently employs around 13,500 people.

The UK cableco - which has some 2.9m residential punters - said the job cuts were the "next stage in its strategy to improve customer service and drive business efficiency".

As part of that strategy, NTL will reduce the number of call centres from 13 to just three in Manchester, Swansea and Bellshill (Glasgow). They will be supported by four sales and customer support sites in Nottingham, Teesside, Luton and Coventry.

The cableco said that it would make additional investments in technology and training in order to streamline processes and generate efficiencies.

"As a consequence of these investments, NTL expects that in the medium term it will be able to deliver a higher level of customer service with up to 1500 fewer positions," the company said in a statement. ®

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