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Capita will expand its workforce by 2000 in two years

OUTSOURCING giant Capita Group is confident of adding thousands of people to its Scottish workforce, having already seen staff numbers increase ten-fold in the past seven years.

Paul Pindar, chief executive, says he will be "disappointed" if the business does not add 2000 posts across the next two years.

Capita already employs around 5000 people in Scotland - up from 500 in 2006 - in areas including IT, financial services, education, property, utilities and telecoms.

While the exact location and sectors the new jobs will be in was not specified, Capita does intend to create 150 posts in the next five years at Skypark in Glasgow as part of its management of a ScottishPower boiler cover product.

Mr Pindar believes growth prospects for the company in Scotland are "exceptional".

He said: "We have grown our presence by ten-fold in the last seven years and I would take the view we could do something again pretty spectacular going forward."

At the moment the majority of Capita's work in Scotland is in the private sector with financial services, where it provides pensions support to insurers such as Phoenix and Friends Life across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling, making up the largest part.

The life and pensions call-centre in Stirling manages in excess of a million calls every year and in the region of two million customer transactions. However, Mr Pindar is keen to secure more public sector work and pointed out a £40 million contract with Strathclyde University for IT services as a signal Capita is keen to step its presence.

He said: "All governments are tight for cash and we help public sector bodies deliver more benefits to communities for less money."

Organic growth with existing customers in the private and public sector is also likely to see further jobs being created.

Mr Pindar said: "We are interested in all sectors. Retail, telecoms and utilities have been strong in England and I see no reason why with a suitable level of investment, which we are very happy to make, we can't replicate that in Scotland."

The lower cost of operating in Scotland compared to some regions of England is also seen as a major plus point.

Mr Pindar said: "The London market at the moment is extremely hot in terms of property cost and wages cost.

"Scotland has a great education system producing great people and the cost base is more realistic than the one we have in the south east of England. Again, it is one of the reasons why proportionately Scotland will be a major beneficiary of Capita's growth."

The independence referendum is not something the company is taking a stance on and Mr Pindar said: "We don't tend to get involved in things we can't control."

In April this year Capita bought Edinburgh-based training tool provider G2G3 which uses computer gaming models to help people retain information better.

Mr Pindar said the integration process was going well and G2G3's techniques were being rolled out across different areas of Capita.

He said: "Traditional methods of training in classrooms or normal teaching facilities has a limited rate of success in getting date into people's heads.

"What G2G3 do is use gaming as a training tool. For young people learning, it makes the whole training process more interesting."

Capita, which has its headquarters in London, has more than 52,000 staff.

Its financial results for 2012 showed £3.35 billion turnover and £290 million pre-tax profits.

Staff costs came in at £1.5 billion which divided across the 47,590 employees at that point would give an average salary in excess of £31,500.

Graduate trainee salaries at Capita start at £25,000, customer service staff can earn up to £34,000 and line managers up to £40,000.

In August this year Capita was confirmed as the preferred bidder to operate electronic tagging for the Ministry of Justice with the initial six-year contract expected to be worth around £400m. Other public sector contracts include managing TV Licensing and handling calls for the Department for Work and Pensions.

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