VIRGIN Media will create 60 jobs at its contact centre in Bellshill and has held out the prospect more could follow.

The mobile phone to broadband giant is increasing staffing at its base in North Lanarkshire to help cope with the growing popularity of services such as on-demand TV and smartphones.

This has triggered an increase in calls from customers who may want to know more about the services they are buying rather than resolving specific queries.

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Describing the Bellshill base as a centre of excellence, chief operating officer Andrew Barron said Virgin Media had no hesitation in growing the facility, where 750 staff are employed.

During a visit to the centre he told The Herald: "We have hundreds of other people here and the quality of service they deliver means that we are confident in investing further in the site."

Virgin Media also has contact centres in countries such as India and the Philippines, where many UK firms have off-shored work in the hope of benefiting from lower labour costs.

Asked why Virgin Media chose to create the new jobs in Bellshill rather than India, Mr Barron said the complexity of the jobs of front-line customer service agents has increased dramatically.

He added: "That means having an agent who is high on empathy, who is extremely broadly skilled and who can help them [customers] with a very broad palette of sometimes technical issues and questions. Bellshill is a very good place to find people who can fit that profile."

Mr Barron said Virgin Media could create more jobs if it achieves further growth, some of which might be in Bellshill.

Virgin Media employs around 2000 people in Scotland. The company's Vigin Media Business arm has a base in Edinburgh. The company also has a technical centre in Glenrothes, Fife.

On its website Virgin Media says it has a programme called Get Talking in its Indian call centres, designed to "sensitively address language, accent and cultural differences".

Mr Barron said the complexity and depth of modern communications services meant demand for the services provided through contact centres would not go away any time soon.