EE brings 1,000 jobs back to Britain

EE says it's scaling back its overseas call centres and 'reshoring' 1,000 customer service jobs back to Britain.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 05 Dec 2014

Expect fist pumps from David Cameron. Weeks after the PM revealed his plan to make Britain 'the reshore nation', mobile phone operator TT has announced it’s bringing 1,000 call centre jobs back to the UK.

The initiative will begin in spring with the creation of 250 jobs in Northern Ireland.

By boosting its British resources, EE reckons it can increase customer loyalty and introduce subscription plans with tiered levels of service, with EE boss Olaf Swantee admitting that UK customer service trumps that of overseas contact centres: 'Within 18 months, I want to be able to say that EE has done for customer service in the UK what it has done for networks. And a major step towards this is returning 1,000 customer service jobs to the UK, where performance has been shown to exceed that of overseas contact centres.'

EE's call centres in South Africa and the Philippines will be scaled right back but will still be used for simple transactions.

It's what David Cameron has described as the 'small but discernible trend where some jobs that were once offshored are coming back from East to West'. Other returning firms include the model train manufacturer Hornby, which is bringing some manufacturing from India to Britain; food manufacturer Symingtons (China to Leeds); and Vent Axia (China to Crawley).

EE, currently the UK's largest mobile phone operator, has said that it’s also tripling the size of its apprenticeship scheme to over 1,300 by the end of 2015, and opening 50 new retail stores.

It's a dramatic shift in strategy for the company formerly known as Everything, Everywhere. Since it was formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in 2010, EE has been on a serious cost-cutting mission, axing jobs and closing stores. When Swantee took over as chief executive from Tom Alexander, he cut the upper echelons straight away, reducing his own management team from 26 to 10 on his first day.

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