Feeds

UK monolingualism spurs Amazon shift to Ireland

Another kick in the teeth for Slough

The essential guide to IT transformation

Amazon has decided to relocate its customer service centre to Cork in a bid to take advantage of stronger language skills in Ireland. The workforce in perennial joke-butt Slough doesn't have the necessary polyglotism required to deal with calls from all over Europe, it says.

Headquarters will stay in Slough, but 90 call centre and support staff face relocation. Combined with expansion, the move will create up to 450 jobs on Cork's Airport industrial estate.

European customer services chief Jim Adkins offered the FT a banal explanation for getting the movers in: "As our business has grown, and as we have expanded the categories of products we offer, we need to expand our customer service support as well."

A dearth of French and German speakers is behind the shift to Cork. A 2005 European Commission poll revealed the UK lags behind its near neighbour in language skills, with just 30 per cent of the population able to converse in a second tongue, to the Irish's 41 per cent.

The news can only make things worse for Slough - long regarded as Britain's most depressing place to live and visit. The BBC recently took pity on the wretched setting for The Office by sending a team of "happiness experts" to cheer the place up in its series "Making Slough Happy". For the uninitiated, John Betjemen's poem "Slough" sums up the ambient despair rather eloquently. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?