THREE former executives from call centre operator BeCogent yesterday unveiled plans to create more than 1,000 jobs by reopening an ex-Lloyds Banking Group site in Motherwell.
John Devin, Dermot Jenkinson and Katrine Young are launching Ascensos with a £1.8 million regional selective assistance (RSA) grant from Scottish Enterprise after the Lloyds call centre closed earlier this year.
BeCogent created 3,000 jobs in Scotland and worked with clients including John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Virgin Media, before it was sold for £35m in 2010 to French peer Teleperformance.
Some 600 jobs will be created over the next three years as the company is already in discussions with several “leading name multi-sector clients”.
Devlin, pictured below, managing director at Ascensos, said the plan was to create “high-quality, long-term jobs in what is an area with tremendous skills availability”.
He added: “In terms of roles created, our focus is not just on youth employment as we will also be looking to retrain and develop our people skills across the spectrum, including return-to-work mums and those affected by redundancy over recent years. We want the very best people to play a big part in our success.
“The building in Motherwell has operated as a contact centre operation for a number of years and we are delighted to be coming to the area. The location is excellent with great transport links, and a good local skills base.”
Jenkinson, who is executive chairman at Ascensos, is a former Scottish entrepreneur of the year award winner and sits on the board of logistics group John Menzies.
Devlin added: “The management team we have at Ascensos is extremely experienced in this field and we are all really enthusiastic about building this business using next-generation technology, fully embracing social media and creating a truly fantastic place to work for our employees.”
The Motherwell centre is to be launched initially with 100 jobs and the firm says job numbers will increase steeply as more projects and clients come on board.
The group is confident of hiring 600 people on a three-year horizon, and is predicting that more than 1,000 jobs could be created over the next five years if things go well.
The move was welcomed by finance secretary John Swinney, who said that Ascensos would bring a currently empty site back to life.
He said: “Ascensos’ announcement of 600 new jobs in North Lanarkshire is great boost for employment in the local area.
“I also recognise the company’s commitment to employing those returning to work after a period of leave and those made redundant.”
News of Ascensos’ launch comes just days after Webhelp UK, the Falkirk-based arm of the eponymous French call centre group, unveiled plans to expand into the South African market.