More than 1,500 jobs are being created in Sunderland as part of a £ 100million investment in the city by takeout giant Just Eat.
The food delivery company has announced plans to open a new customer service base at Rainton House, Houghton-le-Spring, after “relocating” the contact center positions from overseas.
The company plans to invest £ 100million in the region over the next five years, with staff working partly from home and partly from the Rainton Bridge contact center.
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UK Managing Director Andrew Kenny said the company would bear the additional costs of hiring in-house staff as it allows Just Eat to provide better service.
Just Eat’s customer service is mostly run from Bulgaria and India, but he said he has seen an increase in customer satisfaction among those who have dealt with the 300 people already hired at the new base in the North East.
Recruitment is underway and a variety of positions ranging from customer service advisors to team leadership, specialist support and management roles are available.
All new customer service employees will participate in a comprehensive training program before starting their new roles at Just Eat. They will also benefit from longer-term career development plans to enable them to develop relevant skills and advance within the company.
Employees will have access to a range of benefits in the 20,000 square foot office, which is equipped with a gym, dining area and lounge, spread over four floors. They will start their new jobs working from home with the intention of operating a hybrid model in the coming months.
Mr Kenny said: “As part of our continued investment in our UK business, we are excited to create over a thousand new customer service employment opportunities over the next 12 months.
“Along with the launch of our worker model for couriers, this move will help us provide the best service to our customers and restaurant partners as the demand for food delivery continues to grow in the UK.
“As a platform that covers 95% of UK postcodes, we also know the importance of increasing career opportunities outside London and the South East. We are pleased to announce our commitment to the Northeast, to help stimulate the region’s economy.
Coun Graeme Miller, Head of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are delighted to have helped Just Eat relocate to Sunderland, joining a vibrant business community and creating jobs and opportunities for the people of the city.
“We are very proud of what Sunderland offers as a place to do business, and it is a rationale for this offering when brands like Just Eat are drawn to the city through the work of our team and colleagues. Invest North East England and LEP North East to attract them.
“We are extremely proud of our skilled employees and look forward to seeing how they will contribute to the success of the Just Eat business. ”
Business Minister Paul Scully said: “It is great to hear Just Eat bring fruit to the North East economy by creating 1,000 new jobs, from management to customer service, which will help to make the region an even better place to build a career.
“This investment advances our plan to level the whole of the UK, ensuring that all of our regions and nations thrive as we rebuild better after the pandemic.”