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first direct launches campaign to recruit mature employees and parents

21 Jan 2003

first direct , the UK's leading telephone and internet bank, has unveiled a major recruitment drive in Scotland targeting mature employees and people returning to work after having children.

The aim of the campaign is to recruit 300 full and part-time Scottish employees throughout 2003. It will specifically target the over 40s and parents returning to work after spending time at home looking after their children.

The 'Mature' campaign recognises the business benefits of employing people with established life skills. It is also designed to help first direct continue to attract high quality staff in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

As part of the recruitment drive, first direct will undertake both radio and newspaper advertising in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire and plans a series of specially designed training courses starting in February 2003.

Jacqui Taggart, Head of Operations at first direct 's Hamilton site, said: “We believe that there is potential to improve our reputation for excellent customer service by recruiting individuals with good people skills and a variety of life experiences.

“The types of people we are targeting with this campaign have the life skills that work well in our environment. It may be that they have had similar jobs in the past, are used to juggling different demands and have excellent communication skills.”

Jacqui continued, “Attracting good people is integral to the success of first direct 's business. We are operating in an increasingly competitive market, so it is critical that we find the right people with the right skills.”

All employees will take part in an eight-week training programme which looks at first direct 's range of products and services, computer systems and the bank's unique approach to its customers.

One employee who had the skills first direct was looking for is John Hendry, a former technical training consultant for the textile industry, who joined the company as a customer representative after being made redundant four years ago.

John (49) of Hamilton, who appears in adverts for the current 'Mature' campaign, said: “I work full-time and I love my job; the people are excellent and the working environment is great.

“I was nervous about switching from a managerial job to working in a call centre, but first direct provides an impressive training programme which helped me realise that my life skills as a mortgage-holder, bill payer and father are invaluable to helping customers look after their personal finances.”

John is now one of 1,000 people working for first direct at its Scottish headquarters in the Hamilton International Technology Park, Lanarkshire.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • The first direct 'Mature' recruitment campaign aims to capitalise on the untapped skills and experience identified by independent market research company CACI Ltd. A postal sector report carried out for first direct by CACI Ltd revealed there are over 60,000 people over the age of 45 living in a 30 minute 'travel to work' radius from first direct 's Scottish headquarters, of which more than 3,200 live in Hamilton.
  • first direct opened its banking centre in Hamilton in April 1998.
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