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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January, 2004, 19:21 GMT
Call centre jobs move back to UK
Call centre worker
Moving jobs abroad is known as "offshoring"
A company which moved 250 call centre jobs to India is bringing the work back to the UK.

Shop Direct opened the call centre in Bangalore in March 2002, to deal with orders and customer inquiries.

The company says the jobs will be moved back to six centres in Burnley, Bolton, Worcester, Widnes, Preston and Newtown, mid Wales.

The move is a reversal of the current trend of shifting jobs abroad to cut costs - known as "offshoring."

You can cut costs but not necessarily cater properly for customers

A spokesperson for Shop Direct, formerly known as GUS home shopping, said the call centre in India had been a trial, but the level of service was not as high as the company wanted.

Unions have been campaigning against offshoring for months.

The shopworkers' union, Usdaw, has 10,000 members working for the group.

A spokesman welcomed the decision, saying: "This decision is proof that you can cut costs, but not necessarily cater properly for your customers.

"We will be using this news to tell companies they should be keeping their jobs over here."

Earlier this month, an independent report said the level of service in Indian call centres was not as high as in the UK.

News that the call centre was being closed followed an announcement by Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt giving clearance for the acquisition of Shop Direct and home delivery arm Reality by March.

Head-to-head: Call centre jobs
20 Jan 04  |  Business

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