HUNDREDS of new jobs are being created by a Tyneside customer contact centre following rapid expansion and growing demand for its services.
First Contact Group expects to generate more than 500 new jobs by the start of 2017 as it ramps-up operations for Scottish Power, Spark Energy and Utilita Energy among other energy supplier customers.
The firm, which has seen a 50% growth in sales in the last two months and is targeting a £20m turnover by 2017, has unveiled ambitious plans to create 200 new jobs across a variety of roles at its Newburn contact centre.
It also operates a contact centre in Livingston, Scotland, where dozens of new posts are expected to be created over the next 12 months to meet strong demand for its services.
Across the group, administration, customer service advisers, sales agents and managers are being recruited in a move that will significantly boost employee numbers from the current level of 150 people.
The firm also has plans to integrate 300 people currently self-employed providing customer sales and field services nationwide for Utilita Energy as part of its operations based at Gateway House.
The news follows rapid expansion for the First Contact group this year, which in a move that will allow for further growth, has relocated to Gateway House where it has taken 10,000 sq. m. of office and call centre space.
Former professional footballer Neil Wilson, who first established the company to provide facilities management services for Utilita Energy, said the firm is currently recruiting more than 10 people a week to its workforce.
He said: “This year has been an extremely busy one for us as we see continued growth amid strong demand for our services, particularly around our energy-focused contact centre operations.
“Success is being driven by the quality of the services we provide and the friendly yet highly skilled and dedicated nature of our frontline sales and customer adviser teams.”
Neil Wilson said that he and fellow directors Paul Clarke and Martin Stephenson have decades of contact centre and energy industry experience between them.
They are creating hundreds of new jobs and building a business on the back of a commitment to high quality service.
He predicts a 300% increase on current employee numbers across all his operations within the next 12 months.
He added: “We are bucking the contact centre trend and retaining our staff, actively recruiting for enthusiastic and motivated people who are keen to build a career in a relaxed, friendly and flexible working environment.
“I want to create an environment that people actually enjoy coming to work and see it as a career not just a job.”
The capacity for additional flexible office space provided by the move to Gateway House will be critical in helping to achieve this, added Neil Wilson.
First Contact Group, which includes the First Contact (NE) customer contact centre and First Contact Management, provides facilities management services for Utilita Energy Ltd, Britain’s leading supplier of prepayment energy.