Virgin Media to hire 200 workers

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Opens West Midlands regional HQ

Virgin Media has announced that it will be creating 200 jobs for young apprentices, after it axed 2,200 in 2010.

The move will be facilitated by opening a regional HQ in the West Midlands under a multimillion-pound investment.

It said that by creating these new jobs, it hoped to give young people an important opportunity to get themselves on to the employment ladder.

The news sounds great on paper but those with longer memories will remember the many who lost jobs following a huge axe wielding exercise  back in late 2010. At the time the company said the job losses – around 15 percent of Virgin Media’s workforce – would form part of annual cost savings of more than £120 million by 2012.

The cuts came a few years after the company axed 4,000 staff after the ntl and Telewest deal, which was later followed by the acquisition of Virgin Mobile.

Those redundancies were due to a mix of acquisitions and pure bad management, Clive Longbottom, analyst at Quocirca, pointed out.

“VM had been pretty flabby and a lot of the people working for it were not up to the job,” he said, speaking with ChannelBiz UK.

The company was fighting both falling ARPUs and rising costs, so, Longbottom said, it had to do something.  “Then it over did it and ended up with frazzled support staff and long waits on telephones, which was deplorable,” Longbottom added, “but, for some reason, later polls and surveys show that VM is quite well liked in the market, at least in relation to the rest of the communications companies, which is not exactly a high bar to leap.”

Speaking of the Virin Media’s new apprenticeship programme, Longbottom said he “applauded any company that does provide apprenticeships, for whatever reason, as long as they are run properly and result in fully trained people at the end of the term”.

However appreciated the new hires will be to the wider economy, Longbottom noted that they might be saving the company more cash than it is letting on.

“Looking at the various bits and pieces I have found, nowhere does it state if this is part of the government apprentice scheme, which if it is, is part funded by a £25m government scheme, so lowering the costs for VM,” he said.

“Even if this is the case, having a proper apprentice scheme is great, and more power to VM for starting this up,” Longbottom said.