300 working at new call centre

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Bosses at Derry’s new call centre have revealed that they have already recruited almost 300 people as they official opened the premises.

The new centre at the former Stream site at the Ulster Science and Technology Park is a joint venture between Convergys and technical giant EE.

EE CENTRE OPENING. . . . Francoiswe Clemes, Chief of Customer Services, EE Limited and Mike Wooden, Chief Commercial Officer, Convergys, unveil the plaque at the official opening of the new EE Call Centre at Branch Road yesterday morning. Included from left are Alderman Gary Middleton, Deputy Mayor, Mark Durkan, MP for Foyle, Aisling Lavery, Operations Manager and Patrick Forrester. DER3914MC032

EE CENTRE OPENING. . . . Francoiswe Clemes, Chief of Customer Services, EE Limited and Mike Wooden, Chief Commercial Officer, Convergys, unveil the plaque at the official opening of the new EE Call Centre at Branch Road yesterday morning. Included from left are Alderman Gary Middleton, Deputy Mayor, Mark Durkan, MP for Foyle, Aisling Lavery, Operations Manager and Patrick Forrester. DER3914MC032

A plaque was unveiled in the foyer in front of company bosses and a raft of politicians including Foyle MP Mark Durkan and MLA Pat Ramsey.

Convergys Country Manager Patrick Forrester said: “Since we announced our intention to open this site earlier this year we have had a very busy summer where, over a period of several months, the last three or four, we have recruited almost 300 people in a range of job roles, varying from call centre agents right through to technical support, IT, recruitment, training and management positions.”

Mike Wooden, chief commercial officer with Convergys added: “This facility renews our commitment and continues our commitment to Northern Ireland.”

Chief of Customer Service with EE, Francoise Clemes, paid tribute to the quality of the workforce here, and the level of support from Invest NI, politicians and others.

A section of the attendance at yesterday's official opening of the new EE Call Centre at Branch Road. The centre will employ 330 people. DER3914MC033

A section of the attendance at yesterday's official opening of the new EE Call Centre at Branch Road. The centre will employ 330 people. DER3914MC033

“For us it is really, really important because what we already see in this new born centre and the feedback from our customers is that we made the right call. The performance of this site is already outperforming the centre we had offshore.”

Mark Durkan, SDLP Foyle MP, said: “We have a record here in Derry of workforces showing good performance and good productivity, in a way that has proved they are not just earning their own wage, but in a way that has actually allowed them to go on to create future jobs as well.

“The reputational advantage that you give, that helps INI, civic figures like myself and others as we try to sell the story and the investment message,” he told the employees.

Deputy Mayor Gary Middleton meanwhile said the launch was a “very positive story” for at a time when there was a lot of economic gloom.

He said: “We are delighted you have chosen this city to invest in. The work ethic within this city is second to none, people are willing to dig in and work hard.”

Recruitment at EE is ongoing, with around 330 staff to be in place by November.

A short video of the opening of the new centre is now available at: www.derryjournal.com.