Npower sheds 400 jobs from Sunderland call centre

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ENERGY giant npower has confirmed plans to cut 1,460 jobs, including in Sunderland, under restructuring of its customer service activities, including outsourcing work to India.

Unions had believed staff at Rainton Bridge would not be affected by a major restructure which will see npower close centres in Peterlee, Thornaby and Stoke.

But the firm has now revealed plans to move 430 backroom jobs to India and transfer hundreds of staff from Peterlee to Rainton Bridge.

Npower has around 1,250 employees in Peterlee, divided between three offices – Tyne House, Tees House and Wear House.

Under the plans announced this morning, there will be no redundancies across the sites, but Tees House will close, and ownership of Wear House will transfer to Capita. Around 110 staff will transfer to Capita and some 630 will move to Rainton.

Tyne House, which has around 500 employees, is unaffected.

The Thornaby centre employs around 500 people, who have been told their jobs are secure. Employees will be offered a position elsewhere in the North East, mainly at Rainton Bridge and given help with transport costs for three years.

Npower is starting a 60 day consultation programme with the 430 affected Rainton Bridge employees.

Gareth Pickles, npower’s customer service director, comments, “Today’s announcement would mean a lot of changes but our commitment to the North East remains very strong - there will still be around three and a half thousand people in the region helping npower customers every day.

“As a business, we’re operating in extremely tough times and we’ve had to look at what’s right for the long term future of the company. We also have to keep our costs as low as possible when our customers are seeing bills going up due to a range of external factors.”

•Are you affected by the move? Contact our newsdesk on 0191 5017208 or email echo.news@northeast-press.co.uk