Published: 21/08/2011 13:00 - Updated: 22/08/2011 08:46

Wick and Thurso sessions highlight home-working opportunities

HIEThe freedom of working from home is fast becoming the next big thing for people involved in business services.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is keen to make sure that people in the Caithness and Sutherland area are ready to grasp the opportunities becoming available.

HIE is offering advice sessions locally on how local people can tap into new opportunities and it has been working with a number of international financial and business services companies to highlight the range of skills the region has to offer.

A recruitment round by American-owned firm Arise UK is coming to Caithness and Sutherland during the week beginning September 18. Before this happens, HIE is organising free information sessions for anyone who is keen to find out if the home-working model can work for them.

Annemarie Monteforte, head of business growth at HIE’s Caithness and Sutherland area office, said: "There are increasing numbers of opportunities to provide a varied and interesting range of business service support and we want to help people understand how the models work and consider if it is right for them.

"Caithness and Sutherland has a great track record in key areas like customer service, IT and also in the kinds of specialist knowledge that can be useful including procurement, project management and engineering."

Arise, which delivers customer services to a wide range of large companies, including retail brands Littlewoods and Very, is aiming to double the number of agents it has in the UK and is keen to recruit in the North.

Dickon Moon, director of strategic sourcing EMEA at Arise said: "HIE has been very supportive in working with us to bring our model to the region. We have been impressed with the rich range of skills and abilities of people here, and this lends itself perfectly to establishing this flexible alternative to the traditional contact-centre model."

Ms Monteforte added: "A number of companies – such as the multi-national business services firm Arise – have realised that with new technology it is possible to tap into the talents of a whole pool of people who for one reason or another do not fit easily into a conventional office-based situation.

"Along with our partners in Business Gateway, Skills Development Scotland and Job Centre Plus we are holding these sessions to allow people to come along and get a better understanding of how this new industry works, and whether it might be for them."

The HIE events, being supported by other agencies, are being held on Monday (August 22) in Thurso and on Wednesday (24th) in Wick.

For more information on HIE’s events visit www.hie.co.uk. For immediate opportunities with Arise, visit www.arise.com/in-the-united-kingdom

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