Preparations for 'super call centre' take shape
THE first of up to 300 recruits are already in training to work at a new city call centre.
About 150 CVs have so far been received by the Money Group, which announced only this month it was to open its "super call centre" in Hatfield House, at Burrington Way.
The firm, which employs 205 people at its base in Truro, said staff will be recruited in three waves of 100, with the aim of employing 300 people in Plymouth by autumn 2013.
Managing director Tony Murtagh said the firm considered opening an outlet in Cardiff before opting to retain its West Country focus.
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Among the first recruits in Plymouth is Andy Simmonds, who is wasting no time getting to grips with the telephony system for the financial services company.
He said: "It is exciting to be at the beginning of something and Tony seems like a cool guy to work for – there is a lot to learn though."
Council Leader Tudor Evans also popped in to have a quick look around the premises.
He said: "All this space here is going to be full of people with jobs, bringing home an income and creating their own spending power.
"This is not just good for the people who will get a job here, it is good for the wider city."
The Money Group, now busy moving into council-owned Hatfield House, currently contributes more than £100 million pounds of salary into the Cornish economy.
Mr Murtagh said: "I am excited by this as it presents opportunities for what we already do – but on an industrial scale.
"It is a perfect building for a call centre. We have all the facilities you need, including car parking.
"Without even starting a recruitment drive we have already attracted lots of interest from potential employees, and I was struck by the number of people living in PL5, that's right around the corner, which would be great for them."
As well as employing city people for the call centre, Mr Murtagh has committed to using local labour and materials during the refurbishment.
The council has made economic growth one of its key priorities and has given advice and support to the company in addition to helping them find suitable premises.
Part of Hatfield House in Burrington Way is currently occupied by Amey, a partner in Plymouth's Transport and Highways, which will be vacating the premises by the end of the year. Provisional heads of terms to occupy part of the building have already been agreed, pending a more formal leasing arrangement from January 2013.