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Net threat to vital call centre jobs.

THOUSANDS of Scots call centre jobs are at risk from an Internet boom, economists warned yesterday.

Reports have shown a rising number of consumers using computers and digital TV for a variety of services, including shopping.

And it's feared the trend will hit the 200,000 people employed in 7000 call centres across Britain.

The warning came as call centre operators TeleTech revealed they plan to locate their European headquarters in Glasgow.

The Denver-based firm, who employ 12,000 people at 20 centres, will create 600 jobs in the city.

The news is another boost for telephone marketing which has seen large numbers of call centres spring up, particularly in Scotland.

But consultants Business Strat-egies, who are doing a study into call centres, fear the industry could just be a short-lived moneyspinner.

They predict the Internet will be used by 900million people worldwide by 2010, causing high unemployment in areas that have become call centre magnets.

Managing economist Clare Reid said: "The Internet has the potential to make telephonists redundant."
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 26, 1999
Words:170
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