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Deputy Prime Minister Announces 300 Skilled Jobs

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09 Sep 2014

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, today announced the creation of 300 skilled jobs by French motorway operator Sanef, to be based in Leeds at a new £1m state-of-the-art front line customer support centre.

The announcement comes during the keynote event of the Grand Départ International Business Festival, arranged in association with Leeds and Partners and UKTI, an event set to define a world-beating, legacy approach to foreign and domestic investment, whilst generating new business. Sanef’s new customer contact centre in Leeds will manage a new payment arrangement being introduced from October 2014, which will improve journeys and reduce congestion at the Crossing.

It is part of the biggest programme of road enhancements since the 1970’s. Instead of stopping at payment booths it will give drivers more flexibility about how and when they pay the charge. Mr Clegg, who addressed the keynote International Economic Conference, part of the Grand Départ International Business Festival, this morning, said: “Across the county you can feel the excitement building around the Tour De France – every city, town and village in this region is determined to give the best send-off it’s ever seen.

Over the past three days, the Grand Départ International Business Festival has given you as investors, an insight into the economic power and potential of this region it’s cities and local businesses, offering expert analysis and information about why you should put Leeds and Yorkshire at the top of your list as investors. For generations, Yorkshire has been pushing the boundaries of business innovation. Leeds City Region has the people, the know-how and ideas to help your businesses to get ahead. As a result this region is playing a powerful part in the securing the UK’s recovery. Across Yorkshire, growth is rising and unemployment is falling.

There are now more people in work in Yorkshire and the Humber than ever before and more young people are starting apprenticeships. I am pleased to announce today that Sanef, the French motorway operator, is building its new £1m front-line support centre here in Leeds, a centre which creates up to 300 new jobs and 10 new apprenticeships and will support Sanef’s operations in the United Kingdom.” Sanef is seeking recruits with a broad range of skills, excellent client advisory capabilities and particular experience in the digital field. Sanef has also made a long-term commitment to the apprenticeships programme with the immediate creation of over 10 apprenticeship posts as it partners with Learn Direct to broaden the talent pool to source school leavers which is a unique initiative in this sector.

“We are delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious project and look forward to working on delivering an excellent solution for both the motorist and the Highways Agency. Leeds has been chosen due to its significant experience in contact centre operations along with its highly skilled and educated work force and I truly believe this is the start of a long term and mutually beneficial relationship.”

CHARLES HEWSON, CEO AT SANEF OPERATIONS

Councillor Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said “I am really pleased to be able to welcome Sanef to their chosen location of St Johns. Job creation is crucial for sustainable economic growth and we have high aspirations in this area, particularly when getting our young people off to a flying start. The apprenticeship programme will give at least ten youngsters a great start in life for 2014 and who knows how many more in the next few years. A further 300 people will enjoy a brand new opportunity with a global employer. What a great win for Leeds alongside the momentous occasion that is the Tour De France.”

Lurene Joseph, CEO of Leeds and Partners, adds, “We have delivered on some exciting job creation targets over the past 18 months and we’re delighted to collaborate with Sanef to bring the latest development in Leeds to fruition. Skilled jobs are the oxygen that fuels the engine of economic growth and to bring about acceleration in the resource pipeline, we have our sights firmly focused on the medium to long-term as we implement an ambitious development programme for the Leeds City Region that will take a series of unique, clearly differentiated propositions to international markets.” Highways Agency Project Lead, Nigel Gray, said, “Dart Charge will benefit the economy by improving journeys at the crossing, and these new jobs are proof that the economic gains from the project will be felt far beyond the Dartford Crossing itself. We are working hard to get ready for go live in October and staff in these posts will help drivers using the crossing to set up and manage their accounts, which will be the easiest and cheapest way for drivers to use the crossing.”

The investment is seen as evidence of the city’s attractiveness to investors, proving it has a strong labour market with the skills and experience required to meet the development needs of pan-global organisation as they become more digitally enabled. The Leeds based positions will consist of administrative, payment processing, account management, enquiry handling and enforcement management services, including new account registrations.

To apply for a position with Sanef in Leeds, please send a CV to: recruitment@sanefoperations.co.uk

Contact for further information:

Zoe Hebblethwaite Senior Media Officer

T: 0113 3781159 M: 07712215728E: zoe.hebblethwaite@leedsandpartners.com