Runner-up Office Response
TAKING on apprentices has been extremely beneficial says Martin Blain, one of the founders of Office Response, a contact centre handling more than a million telephone calls a year.
"The employees we have taken on at the end of their apprenticeships have valued the opportunity we gave them and have shown loyalty to us in return. As a firm we like giving back to the local community," said Mr Blain.
Office Response has worked with the City of Bristol College for the past few years to recruit apprentices. "We've had a number of young people who are now in well-paid and responsible positions with us in our new business sales, customer services and business support teams," he said.
The firm was founded in 2000 when Mr Blain, along with Iain McGregor, realised there was a need by small and medium-sized enterprises for virtual receptionists, people to respond to advertising, customer service representation and to have someone on the end of a phone outside of normal business hours.
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Office Response, based at the end of the M32 near Cabot Circus, has recently expanded to handle emails on behalf of clients.
"We take on somewhere between 20 and 25 apprentices each year depending on our needs. With us they gain a nationally recognised qualification, an NVQ Level 2 in Contact Centre Operations."
Office Response answers the telephone for more than 700 organisations all over the country ranging from small businesses, charities and blue chip corporations to sole traders.