Call-centre Operator Sensée Creating 300 'Living Wage' Home-working Jobs
Invest NI has offered nearly £1 million to Sensée, which has operated in the UK since 2005 and is a provider of home-based workers.
When in place by 2022, the jobs - a mix of agent, manager and support levels roles - will contribute around £5.8 million in additional salaries to the region's economy.
For agency workers, Sensée pays the Real Living Wage of £9.30 an hour, plus small bonuses when hitting targets for call quality.
That makes the average salary just £19,000 a year, which is well below the Northern Ireland average of £28,000.
Sensée says its investment will offer new employment opportunities for people living with disabilities as well as those from under-represented groups including women, BAME and LGBT.
"We offer the security of full employment contracts with guaranteed hours and with the flexibility to choose workdays and times," the firm's chief operating officer Rob Smale said.
"Our home-based adviser services are also attractive to businesses in all sectors, from healthcare to financial services and retail, with the great attitude of our home-working team providing excellent customer service. It also reduces the carbon footprint and aligns with their corporate social responsibility aspirations."
Recruitment has already begun for the 300 posts (candidates can apply online), with interviews and training all completed on-line.
The jobs have been welcomed by the Stormont Executive's top brass as "a unique opportunity for those facing barriers to work as a result of location, personal or family circumstances".
First Minister Arlene Foster said: "Uniquely, these new jobs are not limited by geography and are accessible to everyone, no matter where they live."
Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill added: "We are committed to working together to bring about prosperity for all our people, and these jobs provide a real option for people to benefit from home working and to get in to paid work and improve their quality of life."
And Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: "As the contact centre industry experiences huge change, the home working model is gaining traction with more companies.
"As well as offering flexible working for staff, this approach benefits the environment including reduced energy use and costs. It will also open up rural communities, providing opportunities for those not able to travel to work."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Date Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2020
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