EE is to add 800 customer service roles across its contact centres in North Tyneside, Merthyr Tydfil, Darlington, Greenock, Plymouth and Doxford. One hundred of these roles will fall under EE’s apprenticeship scheme, which gives those enrolled a ‘Level 2 qualification in Contact Centre Operations’ and a ‘full apprentice wage’.
BT had previously announced that EE would be creating 208 apprenticeships within 2017, making today’s announcement a significant step towards this target. In the same earlier announcement BT also pledged to create 1,700 jobs including roles at EE, BT and Plusnet.
EE CEO Marc Allera said, ‘Our customers want great 4G coverage, and great customer service, no matter where they are – and we’ve been working non-stop to give them both. We’re recruiting new talent, providing great opportunities through our apprentice scheme and creating entirely new jobs for the UK economy that will help ensure our customers have a great experience, whether they speak to us on the phone, in our stores, or online.’
In late 2016 EE completed the migration of its customer support contact centres from abroad, back to the UK citing improvements to customer services as the driving factor. Rivals Vodafone also recently announced plans to bring some contact centres back to the UK, targeting 2,100 customer service roles by March 2019. Vodafone also cited improvements to customer services as the driving factor. The onshoring of call centres isn’t unique to telecoms, with experts such as messagedirect suggesting the reasoning is far more expansive than just customer service with the company stating, ‘The main argument for moving call centres abroad was the money saved, but this is becoming less of a cost-effective measure because wages in certain countries are rising. In 2015, wages in India increased by 10.8% nationally, while South Africa, another hot spot for call centres, has seen its minimum wage rising over the last few year.’