Wales

Serco to create up to 600 Cardiff call centre jobs

Up to 600 call centre jobs will be created in Cardiff, says a company which manages sales for retailers.

Serco's new office will provide services for organisations including online and home shopping retailer Shop Direct Group.

The contact centre, which will open in August, will be operated by The Listening Company, which was acquired by Serco earlier this year.

The Listening Company has about 4,000 employees in eight locations.

Neville Upton, chief executive of The Listening Company, said: "We're delighted that the growth in our business has provided us with the opportunity to establish ourselves in such a vibrant city centre.

"Not only does this move enable us to enhance our geographical spread and build on our relationships with key clients, it will lead to the creation of a number of exciting job opportunities and we expect to grow the business in the coming months and years."

Recent growth within the company's existing accounts as well as from new customers has prompted the opening of the new facility.

The centre will become The Listening Company's ninth major UK site and its first in Wales.

The company said recent growth within existing accounts, as well as from new customers, had prompted the opening.

'Good news'

Lloyds Banking Group announced on Thursday it was closing a call centre in Bridgend that employs 700 people, but said it would offer staff jobs at other sites.

Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science Minister Edwina Hart said: "I am pleased the Welsh Government was able to encourage this expansion project to locate in Wales and officials will continue to work with the company as they set up the new operation.

"The creation of new jobs is always good news but this is particularly welcome, coming as it does after the disappointing news yesterday that Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) is to close its centre in Bridgend.

'Attractive city'

"Whilst LBG has indicated that they intend to retain these jobs in south Wales, the announcement by Serco will offer new employment opportunities and will clearly benefit the established contact centre sector in Wales."

Welsh Conservative business spokesperson Andrew RT Davies said: "The announcement reinforces the Welsh capital's image as an attractive city for new investment.

"The Welsh Labour government must now make building on that attraction a priority - in Cardiff, across the region, and throughout Wales. Crucial to this is the introduction of enterprise zones."

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