UK call centre staffing has not been adversely affected by the trend for offshoring, according to a report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Rather than being in decline, jobs at call centres have been growing at three times the average rate across other sectors in the past four years.
The growth is partly attributable to the impact of offshoring posts created in this country, such as by New Delhi-based HCL Technologies, which announced 600 new jobs in its Belfast call centre this week.
The sector employed 1.05 million people in May 2005, made up of 670,000 in IT services and 375,000 in call centre and customer related jobs, and representing an 8.8 per cent growth in four years.
The UK is a net exporter of computing and other business services, including call centres. But redundancies in the sector, though falling since 2001, are higher than the national average, ONS said.
Robert Wint, marketing director at call recording and analytics software firm Verint Systems, said: "The research proves the healthiness of the UK call centre market. However, this isn't cause to be complacent.
"There will always be good, largely financial, reasons why companies choose to outsource certain types of mass volume customer transactions offshore."
Matthew Vallance, European president of Indian IT services group ICICI OneSource, believes that the figures confirm the view that the UK and Indian outsourcing markets can grow together.
"Outsourcing work to India will help the UK address the shortfall in workers that are being predicted in the future," he said.
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