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BPLW Take To The Floor At BT Call Centre

The Newcastle United Foundation Barclays Premier League Works participants rounded off 15 weeks of Employability activities with a site visit to the BT Call Centre Gosforth.

Gemma Wilson, Centre Manager for Retentions, and Sue Crawford, of Man Power Recruitment, welcomed and introduced the BPLW participants to the site which currently employs over 1000 staff.

Course participants were introduced to the ethos of the multi national organisation by a short video which also included information about BT products ranging from from BT Sport to Broadband.

One of the Floor Managers gave the group an insight into his time working his way up through the organisation, starting with evening and weekend work before making a more long term commitment after finishing University.

Gemma and Sue discussed the 12 week induction process for BT call centre staff which includes four weeks classroom based learning followed by up to 8 weeks out on the centre floor learning how to best handle customer enquiries.

The BPLW course participants were given the opportunity to visit the call centre floor and listen in to some customer based enquires and how staff dealt with them. The group were buddied up with a member of staff and were able to watch and listen to how call centre staff would help, advice and assist customers, giving them an insight into how life with BT would be, if they decided to apply and go through the recruitment process.

Sue Crawford talked to the group about how they could apply to become a BT member of staff, reassuring our participants, who have little call centre experience, that BT look for talent and personality over qualifications and experience.

Staff then went on to explain the benefits of working for BT from overtime to bonus, discounted products to promotions and performance related benefits.

Gemma Wilson, Centre Manager for Retentions at BT, said: “The course participants were genuinely interested in BT as a company and arranging a site visit gave the opportunity to gain an understanding of the business, its values and expectations which allows the individuals to make informed choices regarding their career paths. I think the work the Foundation does is fantastic and the participants seemed engaged and positive regarding both the course and the visit. We’re really looking forward to working with you again.”

Newcastle United Foundation Project Officer Alasdair Hill added: “Four of our BPLW participants have shown an interest in working for BT following this visit, which is fantastic news. The site visit really enthused them about the opportunities available at BT and they are seriously considering applying so they can start the assessment process. We’ll be supporting them through the process to ensure they are best utilising the skills they’ve developed during the programme. I’d like to say a huge thank you to BT for giving such a valuable insight into their work.”

For more information on Newcastle United Foundation’s Employability projects email Alasdair Hil (

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