Vodafone is to hire 2,100 staff to fill customer service roles in the Midlands, North of England, Scotland and Wales as part of their pledged 2016-2019 £2 billion investment programme in the UK.
The roles which are expected to be filled by March 2019, include 800 new roles in their Manchester customer services centre, 150 at their Newark call centre, 150 at their Stoke call centre, 100 at their Glasgow call centre, 600 at an outsourcedconvergys call centre in Newcastle, 200 in an outsourced call centre in the West of Scotland, and 100 in an outsourced call centre in Cardiff.
When asked by Mobile, a Vodafone spokesperson clarified that many of the roles come moving outsourced call centres abroad back to the UK, rather than a 2,100 person expansion of their customer service team. The spokesperson cited customer demand for UK based service as the reason for the move. Similarly, EE finished ‘on-shoring’ it’s call centres in January 2017, bringing 1,000 roles back to the UK in the previous 12 months.
Vodafone described the customer service roles as bolstering the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative while adding that its skills training, working culture and earnings equivalent to Living Wage or above will have ‘positive wider impacts within the communities involved.’
However, the Living Wage is currently £8.25 per hour whereas every Vodafone Newcastle call centre role currently advertised through Indeed and Total Jobs was under the Living Wage. One role advertised in Middleton, Manchester was £1.26 lower per hour than the Living Wage. A Vodafone spokesperson responded to this by stating that all 2,1000 new roles would meet the Living Wage, and that all current outsourcing contractor's staff will be paid the Living Wage by April 2017.
The investment in customer service runs parallel to the company’s infrastructure investment, which saw the operator reach 97% population coverage and come joint top of P3 Connect’s annual network test.
Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport stated, ‘Vodafone is one of our country's great international success stories and it’s fantastic this global organisation is demonstrating its confidence in the UK by creating new jobs across the north, in the midlands, in Scotland and in Wales.’
Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery added, ‘These new, skilled roles will make a real difference to our customers and a real difference to the communities that are the focus of our customer services investment. Our ambition is to give our customers the best experience possible, providing an outstanding level of service and support as we continue to invest in building the biggest and best network in Britain.’