News : WestJet to Open Call Centre in Moncton, Create 400 Jobs
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, April 4, 2016 -- Moncton has landed a new WestJet call centre, which is expected to create more than 400 jobs over four years and enhance the airline's service to its French-speaking guests.
The centre, slated to open in September, will be used only for training and the bulk of the bilingual employees will work from home, officials announced on Monday at the Greater Moncton International Airport's international lounge.
The provincial government will provide funding to WestJet, with Opportunities NB offering a forgivable loan and payroll rebates, said Premier Brian Gallant.
That "means that we would only give the financial assistance if and when they create the jobs," he said.
Moncton's gain will be Calgary's loss.
The company will not replace workers at its current hometown call centre, with all new hires based in Moncton. The timeline for closing the Calgary centre will depend on the speed of attrition, according to the company.
Robert Palmer, a company spokesperson, said it has been a challenge to find fluently bilingual workers in Calgary.
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About two-thirds of the home-based Moncton jobs will be full-time and pay about $40,000 a year, said Mark Porter, executive vice-president of people and culture. The remainder of the positions will be part-time.
The government's financial incentives and Moncton's bilingual workforce played important roles in the airline's decision to set up shop in the city, said Porter.
"It is also an eastern base for us, so [from] a time point of view, it works really well for us to be able to do that" because it will provide additional hours of service, he said. "And also, it's a centre of excellence for call centres."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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WestJet Airlines Ltd. is a Canadian airline, which began as a low-cost carrier, that provides scheduled and charter air service to 91 destinations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2016
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