EE is launching a recruitment drive that will bring back more than 1,000 customer service jobs to the UK from overseas while tripling its apprenticeship scheme by 2015.
The UK's largest operator will commence the plan from spring 2014, which will see 250 roles provided in Northern Ireland. EE's apprenticeship scheme, which recently scooped a deputy Prime Minister's Opening Doors Business award, will see 1,300 positions made available by the end of next year. 80% of the 460 apprentices that have completed the programme already have been hired full time, helping the government tackle youth unemployment. EE announced last month that a further 350 jobs would be created through its new store rollout, which will see the opening of more than 50 new shops.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: ‘I’m very proud that EE is leading the UK telecoms industry, delivering not only the first but the biggest and fastest 4G network for the country. And within 18 months, I want to be able to say that EE has done for customer service in the UK what it has done for networks. And a major step towards this is returning 1,000 customer service jobs to the UK, where performance has been shown to exceed that of overseas contact centres.
‘At the same time, our plans to triple our apprenticeship programme will play a significant role in tackling youth unemployment in many areas, and bring a large number of digitally skilled employees into the business. Today’s announcement is great news for our customers and a welcome boost to the UK.’
Additionally, the operator has revealed that 14 new locations have been switched on to 4G. Belper, Cannock, Ellesmere Port, Grangemouth, Harrogate, Hartlepool, Keighley, Motherwell, Paignton, Richmond (North Yorkshire), Skelmersdale, Torquay and Widnes are now part of the 174 towns and cities covered by 4G. EE's ultrafast network now covers 70% of the UK population.
4G has also been switched on at busy commuter destinations, such as airports Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, City, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool John Lennon, Bristol, Nottingham East Midland, Leeds-Bradford, Belfast International, George Best Belfast City, Robin Hood and Blackpool. Rail connections between London Euston and Birmingham New Street, Manchester and Liverpool and London Victoria and Brighton will be switched on in two stages, while the third stage will see Glasgow's network covered by the end of 2014.
EE will also spend £275 million improving call quality in 2014, targeted areas inhabiting some of Britain's busiest roads.
Swantee added: ‘More towns right across the UK now have access to the country’s biggest 4G network, and more people can use it where they need it most – in airports and on the busiest commuter routes. We are leading the way with 4G, with twice as much coverage as any other provider, connecting more customers in more places. But our network investment in 2014 is not just about giving people faster mobile data – phone calls are still an incredibly important part of the mobile experience, and we’re investing to ensure that people travelling all over the UK can make phone calls in more places and with better quality than ever before.’