A NEW call centre offering 600 jobs will be coming to the Island, the Isle of Wight Council confirmed.
Members agreed unanimously to invest up to £2.1 million in the venture, subject to final negotiations.
The council has said it was working with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Isle of Wight College to get the centre up and running by September.
The name of the incoming company and the location of the new call centre is currently unknown, however as soon as it is made public we will let you know.
Unemployment figures released today show that there are currently 1,560 unemployed on the island.
This however will fall with the tourist season coming and also the August the 21st opening of the Newport Asda store.
It is still a rise of 60 though on figures released this time last year.
Up to 600 jobs could be created on the Isle of Wight, from September 2017, with the support of the Isle of Wight Council’s regeneration programme – subject to a decision of its new Executive on 18 May.
In line with the council’s Regeneration Strategy, this major inward investment opportunity will be a joint initiative between the council and a UK-based customer service and online retail support provider*.
Together with the Isle of Wight College and the Department for Work and Pensions, the council has put together a package of support to enable a swift and effective set-up to enable operations to begin in the autumn. Final details of the deal to bring the jobs the Island are still subject to confidential negotiations.
Councillor Dave Stewart, leader of the council, said: “As the leader of the council prior to the election, I was aware that officers had secured the interest of this call centre provider, and the need for the provider to be able to move quickly to confirm a new base for its operations. It is testament to the opportunities that the Island can offer to businesses, that the Island has been selected for this new business opportunity.
“It is great news that, subject to the conclusion of the detailed negotiations, which are still ongoing; we have the potential to secure so many new jobs for the Island.
“I am committed to doing all that I can to get this deal across the line and as it demonstrates that the Island is open for business and can do innovative and creative deals to increase our prosperity and wealth. This is great news for the Island.”
Chris Ashman, director of regeneration at the council, said: “This opportunity is ideal for the Island and comes at a great time as we seek to expand and strengthen our efforts to bring real regeneration and opportunity to the Island. Regeneration isn’t just about buildings, it’s about creating a sustainable community that can thrive; from education and skills creation, to the provision of quality jobs and appropriate housing, and in turn further investment. This all aims to create a robust and dynamic local economy that will be sustainable now and in the long term for our future generations.”
The development of the contact centre sector has seen significant growth across the UK in the last 20 years. In more recent years, outsourcing companies have increasingly ‘on-shored’, bringing jobs back to the UK, due to expressed customer preference in dealing with English first language speakers. The sector has become increasingly attractive to a younger workforce, providing a strong team building/working ethos and flexible working conditions to allow full or part-time study.
An extraordinary meeting of the council’s Executive takes place on 18 May to discuss this issue.
*The identity of the inward investing organisation is to be treated as confidential until a final agreement is reached, subject to approval of the project by the Executive.