Ventura sold in £65m deal

UNION leaders have urged the bosses of Rotherham’s biggest call centre to put workers first after it was sold in a £65 million takeover.

Officials from the Communication Workers Union urged the Ventura complex’s new owners, Capita, to complete a smooth transition, safeguarding jobs and putting staff first, from previous owners Next.

Ventura, which has sites in Manvers and Leeds, handles contracts for a variety of brands including O2, British Gas, the RSPCA, Department for Work and Pensions, and T-Mobile.

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Capita has around 350 sites and a much bigger portfolio of contracts.

Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “This is a significant consolidation of outsourced call centre functions and presents an opportunity to drive up standards across the industry.

“It’s very early days and there are a lot of unanswered questions at this stage.

“Job security is a key concern, not least in regional employment terms as with around 8,000 staff, Ventura is a significant employer in Yorkshire.

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“The outsourcing market can often be volatile, but the opportunities for redeployment in a bigger company like Capita should be better, hopefully meaning good news on job security.

“We urge both Capita and Ventura to engage with trusted independent union representatives through the transition period.

“Transparent communications and consultation with employees at this time will be vital for morale and successful integration.

“We’re also encouraging any staff affected by this change to contact CWU for information and advice."

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The CWU has members in both Ventura and Capita Plc and has union recognition on some of Capita’s contracts.

In the year up to January, Ventura reported turnover of £156 million and operating profit of £8 million.

Capita said the acquisition would increase its capacity