Association says layoffs aren’t sign contact centre industry in decline
The most recent layoffs at TeleTech don't mean the call centre industry in Nova Scotia is in trouble, says Contact Centre Nova Scotia. — File photo by Raissa Tetanish
Contact Centre Nova Scotia (CCNS) President Cameron Bruce says that Teletech’s recent layoffs aren’t a sign the contact centre industry is in decline.
“Teletech, like many other large global companies, is feeling the impact of the sluggish economic recovery. As an outsourced contact centre, they’re particularly sensitive to slow growth or shifts in clients – as was the case here.”
TeleTech Holdings Inc. announced in March that the relocation of a major client to another call centre would mean 142 jobs would be lost at the company’s Halifax location in Bayers Lake. However, efforts are underway to sign some new clients, which could reduce the number of jobs ultimately affected.
As well, a small number of employees will be able to switch to work on other existing clients at the centre.
Bruce says its not all gloom and doom in the industry.
“There are about 40 major contact centres in Nova Scotia that employ 13,000 people, some in rural areas where there are fewer opportunities for skilled jobs. These jobs contribute about $500 million in direct payroll benefits to the N.S. economy, not to mention other economic spinoffs. Many have grown significantly and continue to grow – for example, Admiral Insurance, Staples, Xerox and other members of our association are currently adding jobs.”
Bruce adds, “There will be more losses and gains as the economic recovery continues, but overall the sector is holding its own.”
This isn’t the first brush with mass layoffs for TeleTech. The Bayers Lake location faced complete shut down in 2008 before new business was signed that saved the operation. TeleTech employees in Amherst weren’t as lucky in 2010 when all 215 were laid off and the operation closed.
Contact Centre Nova Scotia was established in 2006 and serves as the central resource for industry information, networking and professional development within the contact centre industry in Nova Scotia.