The full time call handlers affected, many of whom are police officers, are facing redundancy in the force’s bid to save £3.9 million in 2014-2015.
The Apex Insight report shows that despite stalling as a result of the economic downturn, the UK call centre market is currently worth in the region of £2.5bn and accounts for over 5% of total employment in some regions.
Although the industry is still principally driven by the financial services and telecoms sectors, government organisations are now emerging as a key investor.
Whereas offshoring of contact centres to areas including India, South Africa, the Philippines, Eastern Europe and Egypt has traditionally offered a significant cost saving to UK commercial enterprises, customer complaints of poor service has led some organisations including NatWest, Santander and E.ON to reopen their hubs in the UK.
Nevertheless, for many smaller companies, integrating offshore call centres into their service offering can represent savings of 25 to 40 percent which, in some cases, could be the only means of supporting their financial sustainability.
“There is certainly an expectation that the public sector in particular may become increasingly reliant on outsourced call centres in an effort to meet its challenging cost reduction targets”, says Apex Insight director, Frank Proud.
“It remains to be seen whether it will offshore its call handling service or retain it within the UK, given the general unpopularity of foreign call centres. However, most non-emergency public sector organisations, including local government departments, will be looking to cut costs over the next 24 months and the move to call centre handling, in many instances, is inevitable”.
Apex Insight (http://www.apex-