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Outer Hebrides Citizens Advice Direct jobs boost

14 December 2011

Citizens Advice Direct will deliver the new Citizens Advice consumer helpline from the Outer Hebrides thanks to support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

A £370,000 development grant by HIE will provide first class facilities at Gleann Seileach Business Park in Stornoway.

This will involve relocating the current Consumer Direct team based at Shawbost, and expanding the workforce to 41 people by March 2012. Additionally, Citizens Advice Direct will have the space they need to expand services, and grow by up to a further 40 posts in the future.

Kirsteen McDonald, Citizens Advice Direct's CEO, said: "We are delighted to be developing the range of services we offer in the Outer Hebrides. We were initially attracted here from our Glasgow base because of the Islands excellent reputation for business services and we are optimistic about finding additional staff of the same high calibre."

The building will be ready in March 2012 and recruitment will begin immediately. The skills level of the posts means that salaries are expected to be considerably above the average and the total impact on the local community is estimated at just under £1.125 million.

Archie Macdonald, HIE's Area Manager in the Outer Hebrides commented: "In the Highlands and Islands the Financial and Business Services sector is vibrant, with a number of current growth projects across the area. This proposal represents a deepening and strengthening of the sector in the Outer Hebrides, which is a very welcome development in terms of attracting additional skilled and value added roles to the area."

Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Angus Campbell, said: "Comhairle nan Eilean Siar welcomes the news that the future provision of this service has been secured for the area. This builds on the success of the service delivered by CNES over the last six years. We are delighted to see the skilled Consumer Advice jobs retained in the area. CNES will continue to work closely with Citizens Advice Direct and partners to ensure a smooth transition to the new service and premises."

Citizens Advice Direct was set up in Glasgow in 2004 to serve a demand for telephone based advice. They have contracts with NHS Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Big Lottery Fund, Kinship Care, Armed Services Advice Project, Money Advice Service, Energy Savings Trust, and Citizens Advice Scotland.
 

 


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