Skills shortages hinders call centre growth in UK

The
effectiveness and future growth of the UK’s call centre workforce is being
undermined by severe skills shortages and ongoing recruitment problems.

The
skills issue has become so problematic that around 32 per cent of call centre staff
lack the level of competence required to meet business objectives.

Data
gathered from more than 800 UK centres shows competitiveness is also suffering
because of a lack of staff, with 35 per cent reporting unfilled vacancies.

The
difficulties could be compounded further as the sector is expected to grow,
with 43 per cent of call centre operations anticipating a need for more staff
and 11 per cent complaining of recruitment difficulties.

The
research, conducted by the e-skills UK Sector Skills Council for IT, telecoms
and contact centres, shows the industry now employs more than 867,000 people,
which equates to 3.1 per cent of the UK workforce.

Andrew
Palmer, sector lead for contact centres at e-skills UK, said employers should
increase training and development to make call centres more attractive to
employees.

"We
must focus on ensuring the workforce has the right skills, drive and motivation
to deliver exceptional levels of customer service and to be competitive,"
he added.

The
study reveals that many HR departments in the sector are already committed to
further training with 24 per cent planning to increase spending on staff
development.

E-Skills
UK has developed the Contact Centre and Career and Skill Framework to enable
contact centres to manage and develop their workforce’s skills.

By
Ross Wigham

www.e-skills.com

HR
factfile

Call
centre workforce facts


51 per cent of staff are under 34 years of age, compared to the UK average of
34 per cent


72 per cent work full-time


56 per cent are female


35 per cent of staff are based in the North of England

Source:
e-skills UK

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