Shop Direct Call Centre Jobs - Topical Questions

Peter Dowd (Bootle) (Lab): A devastating announcement has been made in the days before Christmas by Shop Direct, which covers the Littlewoods and Very brands, and its partner, Webhelp, that 400 call centre jobs in my constituency are to be lost. Those jobs are to be transferred 6,000 miles away to South Africa. What assurances can the Secretary of State give me that the people affected by those redundancies will get all the support and help they need from his Department?

Mr Duncan Smith: The hon. Gentleman is right to raise that. All support will be given by Jobcentre Plus. If it has not already done so, I will ensure that it puts a specialist team in to make sure that all those people are seen as a priority, that all their skills are assessed and that they are got into jobs as quickly as possible. If, however, he would like to come and see me about this or if he can think of anything else we can do, I can assure him we will do everything we can to help his constituents at this time.





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