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New call centre to bring 600 jobs to Isle of Wight

John Devlin and Lyle McLean from Ascensos

Up to 600 new jobs are to be created on the Isle of Wight with the opening of a new customer service contact centre.

Staff at the site in Cowes will handle customer queries for the Scottish-based contact centre management specialist Ascensos which manages customer service enquiries for retail companies including Argos; BooHoo; B&Q; Coast; Game; Karen Millen; L.K.Bennett; Monsoon; Oasis; Warehouse; and Wickes.

Ascensos will invest more than £1 million and the Isle of Wight Council agreed to offer a capital investment of £2.1 million as well as a 10 year lease on the site in Cowes - subject to further legal discussions. The local authority has estimated that the business will contribute £35 million to the island's economy. Work to prepare the building will start straight away, and recruitment will also begin so that the business can open by the planned date of September 2017.

“This is a major strategic move for Ascensos, increasing our capacity by 30% and establishing our first UK facility outside Scotland. We’re excited to be coming to the Isle of Wight. The people, the financial assistance and the support in recruitment, training and development made for an unbeatable package.

“Ascensos is growing rapidly and we have become a force to be reckoned with in the UK contact centre sector. We’ve a reputation for doing things differently in this space and we look forward to opening Ascensos Isle of Wight after the summer.”

– John Devlin, CEO of Ascensos

“We’re already in discussions with the DWP and Isle of Wight College and our recruitment campaign will get underway shortly. Ascensos is known as a great employer and we’ll be bringing the same approach to the Isle of Wight.”

– Lyle McLean, Ascensos’ Operations Director , Isle of Wight

“I am very excited that Ascensos has chosen the Isle of Wight as the location for its major UK expansion. The Island is already home to a number of major, global companies and is perfectly positioned to support the ambitions of Ascensos, with a motivated, skilled and enthusiastic local workforce.

"This move also promotes our ambitions of regeneration for the Island, to create a robust and dynamic local economy that will be sustainable now and in the long term for our future generations.”

– Councillor Dave Stewart, Leader, Isle of Wight Council

Five hundred jobs to go at Aldermaston

The Atomic Weapons Establishment is planning 500 job losses Credit: ITV

The Atomic Weapons Establishment is planning 500 job losses.

The company issued a statement a short time ago: "The changes will maintain and enhance the core stockpile, production and capital investment projects with safety, security and quality remaining central to all our operations. These focus on improving and streamlining ways of working, investing in the capability of our people whilst reshaping and rebalancing our resources with all roles contributing directly to programme delivery.

"While the company is committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies where possible, a reduction of roles in some areas and an increase in others is required to ensure long-term efficiencies while meeting overall programme requirements.

"The welfare of our staff is our main concern and we will be doing everything we can to support them throughout the process.

"As a result, the organisation is proposing to reduce the number of roles in some support functions and activities of the business where this is appropriate, with a reduction of around 500 roles across the organisation."

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Threat to print mill jobs in Kent

Aylesford Newsprint is going into administration. It's been making newspaper at its one hundred-acre site for well over twenty years.

The company was bought by an American holding firm in October 2012 who described themselves as being "a long-term investor". The news was announced to staff this morning, as David Johns reports.

He spoke to Tim Elliott from Unite The Union; MP for Chatham and Aylesford Tracey Crouch; and Prof Tim Luckhurst who's a journalist expert.

Report finds Portsmouth is top city for jobs growth

Portsmouth has enjoyed one of the biggest increases in jobs in the country, says a new report.

The Cities Outlook 2015 report, from the Centre for Cities thinktank, says jobs in the Portsmouth area increased by 18,800 between 2004 and 2013, or 9.2%.

This was the sixth highest increase in the country.

The report was welcomed by the Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Donna Jones.

"This report shows that Portsmouth and its surrounding area are doing extraordinarily well, particularly given the tough conditions in recent times," she said. "It's a real tribute to the hard work and drive of local employers and their workers.

"This is a great place to do business and to find success.

"The growth is in part down to the area's push to support high-tech manufacturing and advanced engineering, particularly in the defence industries.

"Growth in these sectors is something the council is working hard to accelerate, along with other public and private sector organisations in the area.

"The new Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems on Portsdown Hill, and the city's bid for a University Technical College, are both major steps to ensure continued growth."

The report, released today (Mon) defines Portsmouth as an area including Fareham, Gosport and Havant boroughs as well as the city itself.

It says private sector jobs in the area increase by 4,300, or 2.9%, between 2012 and 2013, putting Portsmouth 13th out of 63 other UK locations.

It also says real wages increased by 4.4% between 2013 and 2014, putting Portsmouth in sixth place.

Teenagers take first steps towards their careers

Video. With employment figures out today, the number of unemployed 18 to 25 year olds has fallen. So as teenagers begin to start thinking about their career options, there are some tough decisions to make.

Finding a job, trying to get an apprenticeship or going to university are just some of their options. But what exactly is on offer for young people in the Thames Valley?

Rachel Hepworth went along to find out. She spoke to Alison Robb-Webb from Oxford City Learning, Natalie Murray who is in her second year of an apprenticeship and Holly Chalmers from BMW Recruitment.

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Sussex travel company celebrates growth

A travel company based in Sussex has recruited almost a hundred new staff.

Tropical Sky in East Grinstead is thought to be one of the UK's fastest growing companies of it's kind. They specialise in long-haul flights. They started with just 5 employees. They also take on university placements.

Today they celebrated the opening of their new offices in the town.

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