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MONEY; Isles set for teleservice jobs boom.

The Western Isles are set for a jobs boom through a multi million-pound tele-services centre.

Up to 50 new jobs are in the pipeline thanks to one of the most hi-tech investments ever made in the islands.

Last night, Industry minister Brian Wilson said ScottishTelecom and Highlands and Islands Enterprise would be making an official announcement about the Stornoway boost soon.

HIE chairman Fraser Morrison said: "The Highlands and Islands boast major tele-based operations in Caithness, Moray, Inverness, Bute, Cowal - and soon, Stornoway.

"They are positive proof of this area's ability to compete and win new jobs, regardless of location."

The ScottishTelecom operation would be based in an 8000 squarefoot office in Stornoway's new Gleann Seileach Business Park.

Rod Matthews, chief executive of ScottishTelecom, said: "We already have centres in Glasgow and in the south of England and are looking at a range of options.

"The key to our business is a high-quality, stable workforce and we have been impressed with what has already been achieved in remote working elsewhere in the Highlands and Islands."

The jobs coup follows a recent 200 job BT development in Easter Ross.

And more than 30 new jobs are in the pipeline at one of Aberdeen's most successful oil services companies after a massive cash injection.

PSL - Progenitive Services Ltd hope to generate more jobs in the north-east and overseas in the coming months after a multi-million pound cash injection by NatWest Equity Partners.

The deal will let PSL attract new markets and strengthen existing ones, with NatWest taking a major stake in the company in return.

HOUSE hunters are to get a little Xtra help this weekend as the country's biggest mortgage lenders join the Sunday-opening revolution.

For the first time, the Halifax will be open tomorrow as thousands of homeseekers countrywide go in search of properties.

Branches will now also open on Bank Holidays.

The move follows the massive growth in Sunday trading, with supermarkets and town centres now packed as shoppers develop a taste for the 24-hour society pioneered in the USA.

From tomorrow, 11am to 3pm Sunday opening of High Street branches will be piloted in 200 areas around the country, including 15 towns and cities in Scotland.

The experiment will continue until May 31 and will include opening over the full Easter break in April.

A REPORT has shown that just 39 per cent of people understand that the return on endowment policies - used by many to pay their mortgages - is linked to the performance of the stock market.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:McGIVERN, MARK
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 14, 1998
Words:420
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