You can pay most of the front line staff just above national minimum wage, plus low cost of rents for business premises and office blocks make many of these towns perfect places for the location of a call centre site. Location beyond those factors is irrelevant becuase all call centres sites these days are part of a larger 'virtual call center' anyway. Sophisticated contact center software and hardware taking care of the routing of cusomter calls to appropriate agents - whether those agents be in stoke or bangalore.
dhicks makes a good point about high speed rail links, but my understanding is that at the moment those hs links are focused on routes into and out of london to the south-east....not sure when, if ever, a high speed link would get to a northern town. It would take years and cost bilions no doubt.
As I said, i don't think the PE is suggesting people from up north give up hope and descend on cambridge, but i think it does have a point about where you allocate limited funds for regeneration - with the current state of the house market and with the public purse stretched as it is with limited funding available for new projects, it surely makes more sense to concentrate house building and regeneration in a few key areas rather than spread thiny all over the country where the impact would be negligible as a result. Just a thought, i don't like the idea of abandoning norther cities....but the govt. and big business have already done that - what hope is there of big business returning ? or indeed of them returning to the uk as a whole.
We already have plenty of call-centres in the North, thank you. They pay minimum wages now, and some (non-unionised, naturally) have been known to employ bullying tactics to pressure call centre staff to 'win' new business, things like making all staff stand to take calls and only allow them to sit down when they have 'won' a new customer...... even people with physical disabilities/accident injuries were made to stand.
The problem with investing in the North (or anywhere away from London & the South East) is that it encourages companies to open up new businesses while they are receiving grants, then they close them down as soon as the grant funding runs out. Many so-called global' employers move work from region to region, country to country, following regional, national & EU grant funding, leaving a trail of despair behind them.
What the regions need is sustainable investment & proper jobs that add true value, not fly-by-night call centres funded by quangos with too much time on their hands.
I have tried taking the train from London to Ashford and it can take it up to 2 hours to travel 60 miles (average speed 30mph). Driving, even on highly congested roads only takes about an hour.
I am working about 2 days a week in Kent but next year I'm due to stop, just as the high speed trains come in
There is talk of creating high speed lines to Edinburgh and Glasgow, no doubt going through Birmingham, Manchester etc just cementing their lead over other Northern cities.
it appears most of the jobs created under nu labour in the last 10 years has been as a result of the expansion of the public sector workforce....plenty of councils and public bodies are themselves not creating proper jobs...non-jobs or jobs in these actual quangos, and if anything councils are acting more like global corporations by outsourcing many services - like call centres - to private companies (so while existing staff can remain on the LA t's and c's, going forward new staff are employed by the private org with all the risk that entails).
They are now doing what many a ftse 100 company does and are actively implementing multi million pound IT projects in order to actually reduce costs and maintinan council tax increases below inflation by actually reducing the size of the workforce. In many cases contractors not from the local area are coming into to take advantage of this windfall, and then move on once they've botched [ sorry, completed ] the project.
So what kind of sustainable employment are you thinking of ? There won't be a lot of that about outside of the south-east anywhere in the uk. i don't see those jobs being in IT (offshored) or manufacturing....that just leaves the service industry that our economy seems to be built on.
We'd better get the defences ready again, just in case :-)I don't think the PE is suggesting people from up north give up hope and descend on Cambridge
Last edited by somabc; 13th August 2008 at 05:29 PM.
What is it about the waste of money in these orgs....EU, regional development organisations, and the railways with the various professional consultants and quangos. All these people need is some fictitious figure of cost savings or economic benefits and they get the green light to spend billions of public money on projects that take years to complete - best value being secondary to pie in the sky 'economic benefits'. the policy exchange have already turned their ire on the RDA's telling us what we've known all along - that they are a very expensive waste of space.
No doubt this current report follows northern cities is linked to the previous report on the RDA's which advocated the number of those being reduced.
Suffice to say, the USA, Germany, France and Italy to name but a few have all managed to hold onto their manufacturing industries & protect them from 'globalisation', while successive UK governments (of both political persuasions) have waved goodbye to millions of manufacturing jobs with 'soft' labour laws that make it so easy to get rid of british jobs by moving work overseas. It's not so easy in France and Germany....
I think over reliance upon service industries is a risk; look at the fragility of our 'financial services' based economy as a result of casual financial regulation.....
look at how vunerable we are to imported energy supplies......
we have to get foreign shipyards to build our ships.....
It's a surprise these days to buy anything with 'made in Britain' on it.
A great example of this would be Samsung between Middlebrough and Sunderland. It employed a fair few thousand people... until the grant ran out and they fecked off to china/india/not here. I personally know a good number of people who were made redundant. Obviously with several thousand workers all looking for work at the same time you have little chance of getting a job. So overall was Samsung a good thing for the northeasts economy...???
torledo - althoughyou do have a point the problem is not where the money is spent, it is how it is spent and what clauses (or lack of them) the govt. put on companies taking advantage of the money.
At the time of the Samsung closure i worked out that it would have cost no more if the govt. had just given the money away to the workforce instead of giving it to Samsung (barring obviously what taxes they got out of Samsung but still...).
Last time i checked Oxford and Cambridge were doing alright, while good portions of the Northern towns and cities are not doing so grand. With the "credit cruch" and Labours total feck up of the UKs economy we have just seen 60,000 people layed off from work in the month of July alone (BBC news website). Whats the odds 40,000 of these are from the North and when you consider that relatively to population density.... thats alot of people out of work in the north.
In short the North doesnt need people telling us we are screwed and we might aswell just accept it. It needs people who actually have a clue to bring companies up here, and as mentioned, that will bring money and raise standards of living etc... The north has the best frieght ports in the country and if you remember that theres a wee place called Scotland just north of us we are in quite a good geographical postion.
Besides i havnt seen any of this regeneration which has been talked about, only broken promises. And for the record; Sunderland has had alot of money spent on it... but you cant half tell (some parts are actually quite nice)!!!! Ask any person which would they prefer to live in; Sunderland now, or 10 years ago, and i can bet which answer they will choose!!
Last edited by j17sparky; 14th August 2008 at 11:36 AM.
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