News : Vodafone Call Centre Joins List of Stalled Job-creating Projects
Oct 26, 2013 — Kingston's Vodafone call centre has joined the list of Tasmanian job-creating projects that are languishing.
The telecommunications provider is yet to sign off on construction work that would create the capacity for the 750 new jobs promised at the centre.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia's expansion in Tasmania was the centrepiece of federal and state Labor's jobs package for the state.
In March, then prime minister Julia Gillard announced a federal package to double the centre's workforce to 1500.
That was complemented by a State Government boost for infrastructure upgrades.
At the time, the project was spruiked as an opportunity for additional construction jobs for Tasmanians.
But now it joins a list of construction projects still to see the light of day, including the Hobart CBD Myer redevelopment, the major aspect of the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment and the Eastern Shore housing development Paranville, which is yet to have a single hole dug.
Premier Lara Giddings said she was confident Vodafone would employ the 750 new staff by the end of next year as originally promised.
"There are no delays. This is one of the biggest jobs announcements in Tasmania's history and obviously Vodafone will require additional space to accommodate them," Ms Giddings said.
"It's a commercial matter, how and when that occurs, but we welcome the significant investment in Tasmania."
Vodafone spokeswoman Karina Keisler said a decision would be made about the call centre soon.
"Due to the size and nature of our expansion, we have been discussing a range of options and are pleased to say we are close to finalising our plans," she said yesterday.
"We hope to be able to announce the detail in the coming weeks."
But the comments echo statements made in July when the company said: "We have recruited just over 100 new employees and we are now focused on developing plans for our short and long-term accommodation needs."
Yesterday, the company would not say whether it was considering alternative locations to Kingston to cater for the proposed job vacancies.
Vodafone has filled 150 new positions since March despite, at the time, announcing about 70 new staff would be employed each month.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Established in 1994 to operate in the Turkish mobile telecommunications sector, Vodafone Group became a mobile operator under the name Vodafone Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. on May 24, 2006. Now the second largest mobile operator in Turkey, Vodafone has 18,000,000 subscribers. As England's first GSM carrier, Vodafone made the first mobile phone call on Jan. 1 1985. Vodafone Group Plc is the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the United States through the Company's subsidiary undertakings.
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013