A groundbreaking initiative
designed to offer local people free training for careers in the dynamic customer
service and call centre industry will be launched next month (16 October).
People who have been unemployed
for some time, have been made redundant or want to return to work after a career
break can retain their state benefits and receive an additional £10 per week
while participating in the eight-week training programme.
The programme - covering
keyboard, customer service and telephone technique skills - will result in an
RSA computer qualification. It will also include specific training about
products and services offered by local companies that operate customer service
and call centres, leading to genuine job opportunities.
The new scheme has been devised
following a seminar held last October that established a call centre steering
group in association with Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA) and
Greater Peterborough Chamber. The steering group aims to recruit and train more
call centre and customer service personnel to satisfy increasing demands which
are expected to see jobs double to around 500,000 across the UK within the next
GPIA chief executive Gloria Milne
said: "Peterborough already has a substantial number of call centre and
customer service operations and it is important to encourage more people to
recognise that these centres offer genuine, rewarding and progressive career
"Some of our major employers
- including Thomas Cook, Budget Insurance, Norwich and Peterborough Building
Society and Coca Cola Schweppes - are supporting this initiative and are
prepared to offer participants a choice of full and part-time jobs. This is an
ideal opportunity to train for jobs in an exciting business environment where
they can improve their prospects as they improve their skills."
The government-funded training
programme is being provided by Peterborough ITeC Business College in Vicarage
Farm Road, Peterborough, and travel costs in excess of £4 per week will be
reimbursed. The programme requires a minimum of 21 hours per week for eight
weeks. Places are limited so people are urged to register as soon as possible
for the course that begins on 16 October.
For further details, telephone