Tuesday, June 4, 2013

News: Speculation over Manvers O2 jobs

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Hundreds of call centre operators working in customer service roles on behalf O2 in the Dearne Valley could see the work outsourced, according to a report in a national newspaper.

Last month, Capita announced that it had been selected by leading communications company Telef√≥nica UK (O2) as their preferred bidder to form a 10 year strategic partnership for customer management services. The deal, worth approximately £1.2 billion and due to commence on 1 July 2013, could see O2 outsource thousands of call centre jobs and make hundreds redundant from four sites - Bury, Glasgow, Leeds and Preston Brook (near Warrington) - to outsource giant Capita.

According to a report seen by The Telegraph, Capita plans to close customer service facilities in Bury and Glasgow.

The paper also reports that: "There will be deep cuts at O2's call centre in the Dearne Valley, too. It currently employs the equivalent of more than 2,000 full time staff but in 2015 is scheduled to provide only 730 roles."

It is claimed that Capita intends to send work offshore by expanding its centres in Cape Town and Mumbai.

In September last year O2 and Telefonica announced that it would work with Capita to transfer already outsourced call centre jobs to South Africa, a move that affected 200 FTE jobs in Rotherham.

O2 has had an operation in Rotherham for over 20 years. In 1992 Ventura signed a customer service contract to support the launch of BTCellnet into the consumer mobile phone market. The contact centre operation in Manvers went live with 40 staff. Growing to a capacity for 2,000 staff, Capita, the UK's leading outsourcing company, purchased Ventura and the Rotherham site in 2011.

Paul Pindar, chief executive officer at Capita, said: "O2 is a brand renowned for its innovative and bold approach to delivering services and, as a result, has a loyal customer base. Capita will design an enhanced service around customers' evolving needs, introduce new capabilities quickly and ensure that customers' experiences continue to be excellent. We will build on our existing long term relationship with O2 through 'best of breed' technology platforms which support service flexibility, quality and efficiency. Close partnership working with O2 will enable us to adapt our customer management services to seamlessly match developments in O2's service offering.

"The announcement demonstrates the added value we can deliver to our clients through deploying our industry leading customer management services capabilities and extensive operational delivery infrastructure and drawing on our experience of the evolving digital landscape."

The union, CWU, described the move as a betrayal. Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "People are being dispensed with in a cold accountancy exercise designed to save money. This is a betrayal of the staff who have built this company and made it successful."

CWU national official Sally Bridge added: "Staff are already concerned about their job security and O2 is sending very senior managers out to call centres to reassure them that they have a future and that Capita is a decent company. If the documents the Telegraph has seen are right then these are lies and O2 staff won't be able to trust either company."

Capita operates a number of contracts including British Gas, Debenhams, Department for Work and Pensions, Severn Trent Water and National Trust. It is hoped that workers in Rotherham can be redeployed if the O2 work is outsourced abroad.

Capita website
Telegraph article

Images: Capita

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