Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 14.23.37THE NORTH East’s contact centre industry is optimistic about growth, as it celebrates sector success stories at a high profile awards event.

Call centres from across the region have confirmed plans to expand over the coming months, in a survey ahead of the annual North East Contact Centre Awards.  Organisers of the event, which takes place on November 20, have asked the biggest players in the sector if they plan to add to their number over the coming months.  Businesses including Sage, Barclays and Geoban, part of the Santander Group are currently recruiting, creating jobs in Wearside and Teesside and Tyneside.

Another business adding to its team is Stockton-based Scoot, which has experienced rapid growth over the past 12 months, having been bought out last July by American online giant Web.com.  The company is a leading online search provider that gives businesses targeted online exposure to attract new customers.

As well as experienced contact centre professionals, Scoot has added three apprentices to its number, including one graduate level appointment.  The recruits specialize in HR, IT and web design, and the company hopes to make these full time positions.

Katrina Shepherd, marketing manager at Scoot, said: “The company has grown quickly over the course of the last year.

“We have an incredible team here in the North East and they have helped to spur on the growth of the business since we were bought out last year.  A key part of our operation is the contact centre, which drives sales for the business, and – as confidence grows – businesses are spending money on discretional services again, like advertising.  The friendliness of our team has helped to ensure that the company has achieved great success.”

The survey has been carried out as businesses in the field look ahead to the North East Contact Centre Awards, which take place each year.  The event is organised by Sunderland City Council, and is open to businesses across the region, and celebrates success in the sector.

Penshaw View Training, which delivers recruitment support for contact centres across the North East, said that it had seen an increase in demand in recent months, and the future looked bright for the sectors.

Chris Blyth, Penshaw View Training’s business development manager, said: “With our work in the contact centre industry we have seen an increase in demand for recruitment across the North East.

“Many contact centres are exploring new ways of attracting potential employees.  There is a great deal of competition out there, with many companies trying to attract the best candidates, and many of the region’s centres increasing their head count.  The industry is thriving at the moment and shows no sign of let up.”

The event, which is being held at Ramside Hall Hotel is open to businesses that are keen to engage with the contact centre industry, representing a good opportunity to meet with senior personnel from the sector.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Contact centres are absolutely critical to Sunderland, and the North East region, so it is fantastic that they are optimistic about their growth over the coming months.

“Despite the rise of the internet and social media channels, there is no replacement for speaking to someone who can understand and help when you need it.  With a reputation for friendliness, the North East remains a pace-setter for the contact centre industry, with events like the North East Contact Centre awards helping to raise the bar even higher year on year.  It is this that will keep the industry strong for many years to come.”

To find out more about the awards, how to enter or for sponsorship opportunities, visit www.necontactcentreawards.co.uk or email enquiries@necontactcentreawards.co.uk.