CALL centres will be one of the biggest creators of jobs in Scotland as the sector hires thousands over the next two to three years, a recruitment specialist believes.
But John Agnew, managing director of recruitment firm FPSG, warns that the jobs boom could be overlooked by jobseekers and policymakers who do not think the sector is “sexy enough”.
The Scottish-based customer service centre sector is estimated to have added 4,000 jobs since the depths of the credit crunch, with 400 contact centres in Scotland employing 90,000 people.
In addition to firms such as H&M, John Lewis, MoreThan, Tesco Bank, Vertex and Virgin Money opening up Scottish call centres in the period, FPSG said there were a number of large multinational corporations considering Scotland as a location for a customer service centre.
Agnew said: “In our largely stagnant economy, everyone is searching for the holy grail to create jobs, to stimulate growth. The danger is that the potential right under our collective noses is overlooked.
“Why? Maybe it’s not sexy enough or maybe there’s still a hint of the old stigma about working in call centres.
“Scotland has a lot to offer, including a cost-competitive location, a great quality of life, good transport links and ready availability of a skilled workforce.
“It’s really important that, collectively, we retain a focus on the skills pipeline so that Scotland can continue to meet the needs of new incoming employers and those already here who are expanding.”
He added that former employees in financial services and retail were “ideal candidates to work in the customer service sector.
“A customer service centre is not just about entry-level jobs. There is a well-defined career structure with attractive rewards and also a need for specialists in areas such as languages, IT, HR, business development, finance and administration.”
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