Call centre staff swell the ranks at energy company

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TWO hundred new recruits have started work at Southern Electric’s Havant call centre.

As previously reported in The News, the energy firm – part of SSE, formerly Scottish and Southern Energy – announced it was recruiting in April.

The announcement was made in the same week that British Gas announced it would be closing its call centre in Southampton, with the loss of 550 jobs.

And some of those who were laid off are now among the new recruits.

The Southern Electric recruits will help the company offer each of its customers an annual energy review in a bid to help them find the best tariff and bonuses in order to save them money.

However, SSE announced last month that it will be increasing its prices by an average of nine per cent from October, due to the ‘rising costs of wholesale energy’ which it can no longer absorb.

Customer service manager Sue Templeton said: ‘We’ve been able to recruit the right people from the local area, with the right skills and experience, and we have also provided them with training to ensure they offer the best service to our customers.

‘Some have specific industry knowledge, some have come from other related skill groups, and some have come to us looking for a complete change.

‘We’ve employed people recently made redundant by British Gas, and it’s also very encouraging that others have joined us on the strength of our reputation for award-winning customer service.’

Newly-appointed customer service advisor Mark Healey, 31, who lives in Hilsea, said: ‘I’m delighted to have got a job with Southern Electric.’

Now, with the additional staff, more than 2,800 people work at the Havant call centre in Penner Road, which SSE moved to in 2005.