Business Starts Search for Homeworkers on Outer Hebrides

A leading international business services provider looking to recruit at least 50 new homeworkers, and attracted to the region through Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has started its search in the Outer Hebrides. 
 
Fifty local people attended introductory sessions held by Arise UK in Stornoway on Lewis and Balivanich on Benbecula last week, with some already signing up to the enrolment process.
 
HIE has been working closely with Arise and their client, Shop Direct Group to promote the significant number of highly skilled people available across the region who may be interested in a flexible way of working, particularly in more rural areas.

The local events were the first open days undertaken by Arise; their normal recruitment process is directly via their website.
 
Donnie Morrison, Senior Development Manager at HIE said: “I was very impressed that Arise representatives and their client, Shop Direct took the time to attend six events in Stornoway and Balivanich over two days. Their presentations were very informative and at every event the attendees asked very well informed questions at the end of which a significant number confirmed their interest in enrolling in the next stages of the process.”

Martin Roe, Vice President Client Results Arise UK commented: “We were very impressed with the quality of people attending these events. Clearly the long established teleworking experience in the islands lends itself well to our model. We have around 9000 people providing services to Arise and our blue chip client base in the US.

“It is critical for us that we establish a similar track record in the UK and these events have allowed us to further refine contractual, training and operational issues as we move forward. We have a five year contract with Shop Direct Group, the largest home shopping organisation in the UK with well known brands including Kays, Littlewoods, Empire Stores, Woolworths and many more you will have heard of. We are delighted that they have also taken time to attend some of the open days as we move forward together in establishing this flexible alternative to the traditional contact centre model. We are hoping to attract over 50 people in the next few weeks and have a requirement to further increase numbers on an ongoing basis as we add new clients in the UK.”

Adrian Millington Head of Outsource with Shop Direct Group said: “We are happy to support both Arise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise in the development of Homeworking and to help create new employment in the Knowledge economy sector in the HIE area. We are committed to work through our partner Arise in securing the considerable skill sets of the Highlands and Islands, our long term relationship and desire to deliver industry leading customer service can only be enhanced through this true partnership.”

Carly Brundsen, Sourcing Director with Arise presented details of the programme which will see customer service agents operational within three weeks of starting training.  They can then undertake the further five week training programme to allow them to provide the full scale of services.

HIE were supported by a number of agencies including Business Gateway, Job Centre Plus, Live Hebrides and Highland Employer Coalition. Following the exceptional interest shown and the potential for a significant number of people to provide services through this homeworking model, HIE will work with partners to reduce any barriers and to help establish the Highlands and Islands area as a leader in this evolving marketplace.

Alison Wilson, Head of Financial and Business Services at HIE commented: “Working from home is a model which is likely to offer considerable opportunities to people across the region.  There are benefits to the employer, in terms of reduced costs and carbon emissions, and it provides exciting prospects for workers particularly in remote areas where transport can be a problem.”

About Arise Virtual Solutions UK Limited

Arise Virtual Solutions UK Limited is a  leading provider of virtual business services for brands seeking to improve business results through their sales and service channels. Arise customises and delivers high quality voice, e-mail, and chat customer service, technical support, and sales through a network of entrepreneurial, self-incorporated home-based Arise Certified Professionals (ACPs) in the  United Kingdom/Ireland.

Arise adds value for its clients through an unmatched combination of superior service and best cost. Through the delivery methodology of Undisputed Top Performance, the company's 100 percent virtual model is able to best match ACPs' skills to specific client needs, enabling unparalleled flexibility for companies to grow while improving customer satisfaction.

No other company better understands how to bring the virtual solutions model to life for premium brands. For more information on Arise, please go to www.arise.com.

About HIE

HIE's role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region. To achieve this it creates infrastructure for future investment, assists large and small businesses with growth aspirations and has a unique role strengthening communities, particularly in fragile areas.

HIE supports the growth ambitions of business and social enterprise clients by creating close working relationships in order to accelerate growth in turnover, profitability, wage levels, exports and therefore Gross Value Added (GVA) in the HIE area.

HIE also invests in transformational projects across the region to make the Highlands and Islands a more competitive and attractive place to live, work, study and grow.

The region covered by HIE takes in more than half of Scotland, and is home to around 440,000 people.  See www.hie.co.uk for more information.

Contact: Lesley Gallagher
Phone: 01463 244244
Email: lesley.gallagher@hient.co.uk
Website: http://www.hie.co.uk