Energy firms in recruitment drive as complaints and switching soar

Energy firms in the UK are set to hire thousands of new employees to help deal with a surge in complaints and to assist customers changing suppliers.

High volumes of calls are expected after the big energy suppliers announced rises in gas and electricity prices of up to 10% in November, prompting many customers to consider switching energy companies.

Recruitment firm Manpower said the utilities sector was showing strong signs of increasing employment levels.

Managing director Mark Cahill said: “We’ve seen plenty of criticism for the energy companies for hiking gas and electricity bills. However we’ve noticed the big energy companies are now looking to take on thousands of extra staff to deal with a rising demand in calls.

“Customers are ringing up the gas and electricity firms in greater numbers, perhaps to question their bill or even to switch provider. The effect of this greater volume of calls is that the utility companies now need to hire to meet this demand.”

Manpower said that the outlook for 2014 was “steady”, but added that the sector would see continued pressures on pay, underemployment and a lack of skills.

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