More than 1,500 jobs are being created in Sunderland as part of a £100m investment in the city by takeaway giant Just Eat.
The food delivery firm has unveiled plans to open a new customer service base in Rainton House, Houghton-le-Spring, after ‘re-shoring’ the contact centre posts from overseas.
The business plans to invest £100m in the region over the next five years, with staff working partly from home and partly from the contact centre at Rainton Bridge.
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UK managing director Andrew Kenny said that the company would shoulder the extra cost of bringing the staff in-house because it allowed Just Eat to provide a better service.
Just Eat’s customer service has predominantly been run from Bulgaria and India, but it said it has seen an increase in customer satisfaction among those who dealt with the 300 people already hired at the new North East base.
Recruitment is under way and a variety of positions from customer service advisors to team leadership, specialist support roles and management are available.
All new customer service employees will take part in a comprehensive training programme before they start their new roles at Just Eat. They will also benefit from longer-term career development plans to enable them to build relevant skills and progress within the business.
Employees will have access to a range of benefits at the 20,000sqft office, which is equipped with a gym, catering area and a lounge, spread across four floors. They will start their new jobs working from home with plans to operate a hybrid model in the coming months.
Mr Kenny said: “As part of our ongoing investment in our UK business, we’re delighted to be creating upwards of a thousand new employment opportunities in our customer care department over the next 12 months.
“Alongside the launch of our worker model for couriers, this move will help us to bring the very best service to our customers and restaurant partners as demand for food delivery goes from strength to strength in the UK.
“As a platform that covers 95% of UK postcodes, we also know the importance of increasing career opportunities outside of London and the South East. We’re pleased to be announcing our commitment to the North East, to help boost the region’s economy.”
Coun Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re thrilled to have supported Just Eat to make its move to Sunderland, joining a dynamic business community and creating jobs and opportunities for people across the city.
“We’re very proud of what Sunderland offers as a place to do business, and it is vindication of that offer when brands like Just Eat are drawn to the city thanks to the work of our team and colleagues from Invest North East England and the North East LEP in attracting them.
“We’re immensely proud of our skilled people and look forward to seeing how they drive the onward success of the Just Eat business.”
Business Minister Paul Scully said: “It’s great to hear Just Eat are delivering for the North East’s economy by creating 1,000 new jobs, from management to customer service, which will help make the region an even better place to build a career.
“This investment drives forward our plan to level up the whole of the UK, ensuring all our regions and nations thrive as we build back better from the pandemic.”