Irish Water to create 400 jobs in Cork

Postitions to be filled at Abtran call centre by next year

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is expected to announce 400 new jobs for Cork at an Irish Water function this morning. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is expected to announce 400 new jobs for Cork at an Irish Water function this morning. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Some 400 new jobs are to be created in Cork by the new company set up to manage Ireland’s water supply.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Irish Water managing director John Tierney made the announcement at a function this morning.

The jobs will be created at the Abtran call centre in Bishoptown, which has been awarded the contract to deal with processing applications and customer queries in relation to Irish Water Ltd’s operations. The contract is for five years.

The the first 100 staff will be recruited by mid-summer with the remaining 300 positions to be filled by 2014.

The call centre will provide customer care to about 1.6 million domestic and commercial public water users.

Abtran is the country’s largest business outsource service provider and is already handling calls in relation to the Local Property Tax for the Revenue Commissioners. Its clients also include Electric Ireland, Sky TV and Aviva Insurance.

Earlier this month, Abtran discovered that a staff member handling queries regarding the LPT had been seeking credit card details from callers when he had no authority to do so. The company immediately notified the gardaí who lbegan an investigation.

Irish Water is a subsidiary of Bord Gais. It is understood the incident prompted Bord Gais to delay awarding the contract until it received a report from Abtran and a detailed timeline of the events leading up to the individual’s suspension.

According to sources close to Irish Water, it also attached extra conditions to the contract, including a requirement that Abtran boost supervision and provide extra training for staff handling customer queries.

Set up in 1997, Abtran has seen its staff numbers rise dramatically over the past five years, with 1,100 people employed at its headquarters at the University Technology Park on Curraheen Road in Bishopstown and another nearby centre on Model Farm Road.

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