A CONTACT centre company which has more than doubled its Tyneside work force this year is planning a second office on the same site, which could double staff numbers again.
Sitel, which has had a base at Balliol Business Park for 10 years, has increased staff numbers from 200 in January to almost 500 after picking up business with new and existing customers.
And the company, which employs around 52,000 and has 135 sites globally, is now set to open another office at Balliol to cope with a further anticipated growth for the outsourced services in the new year which will have room for another 500 staff.
Andy McCobb, site director for Sitel’s Newcastle operations, said: “The momentum we are beginning to build is fantastic. The work we have picked up in the six months, I’ve been with the organisation is a real testament to the quality of staff we have here.
“The nature of our business exposes us to lots of fantastic opportunities for repeat business. As we pick up additional work and reach capacity at our current site, it only strengthens our desire and need to open a second site within the near future.”
The company originally moved into Newcastle after receiving help from the Tyne and Wear Development Company, which helped to secure outside investment and to find a suitable location.
The two organisations have continued to work closely and the Tyne and Wear Development Company has supported Sitel’s latest expansion plans with help in recruitment and training.
McCobb said: “Newcastle’s a great base for us in terms of both access to support and the quality of the workforce we have here. Many of our employees have been with us for years and benefited from our proactive training initiatives.”
The Tyne and Wear Development Company runs the North East Contact Centre Networking Group and works closely with the many of the region’s 145 centres on issues such as skills development, use of technology, outsourcing and imaging. More than 60,000 people are employed in the sector in the region.
Alan Jones from Tyne and Wear Development Company, said: “Sitel is a multi-national business and a key player in the regional contact centre sector. It’s a good sign for the industry that the company is expanding and creating jobs here as contact centres are a key employer within Tyne and Wear and the North East as a whole.
“We have a strong relationship with Sitel, which we’ve forged over the last decade, and have been able to advise on key aspects of the expansion, particularly recruitment and training.
“They have a good set-up and the future looks encouraging. We’re looking forward to working with Andy and the team on these plans.”