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UK call centre jobs on the up

Sector 'very much alive'

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The number of people employed in UK call centres continues to rise, despite fears that many UK jobs are being exported overseas. Six in ten companies reported an increase in call centre employment over the past year, with a majority expecting their workforce to grow in 2005.

Telecoms, financial services, utilities and the public sector are among those sectors which will experience the most growth in UK jobs, according to a survey by Incomes Data Services (IDS).

Its report Pay and Condition in Call Centres 2004 quizzed 107 operations which together employ around 92,000 call centre staff. The findings show that a clear majority of companies have hired more people in the UK in the past year, with most expecting to create yet more jobs over the next 12 months.

And while companies still reporting that one of the toughest tasks is retaining staff, IDS reports that the average salary for a customer adviser is up 3.5 per cent on last year to £15,000, while the average starting pay is up almost 5 per cent.

Said Sarah Miller, assistant editor at IDS: "These findings show that, despite all the worries about work being moved to India, the call centre sector is very much alive in the UK. What's more, we found that most employers in our survey are taking active steps to improve the retention of call centre staff, for example, building in opportunities for career progression and making the working environment more pleasant." ®

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