News National Centrelink to get 1500 extra call centre staff

Centrelink to get 1500 extra call centre staff

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The department hopes most refunds will be paid by November. Photo: AAP
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Centrelink call centre staffing will be significantly increased to help cope with the one million calls it receives every day.

Federal Human Services Minister Michael Keenan says an extra 1500 staff will be added, bringing to 2750 the new staff added to outsourced call centre providers.

“We’ve been looking at the way we manage calls to make sure it is as efficient as possible and make sure you get to talk to someone in the first instance who can answer your query,” he told Seven.

Under the new contracts to private sector providers, Serco will engage additional staff at their Victorian call centres and Stellar Asia Pacific, Concentrix Services and DataCom Connect will create jobs based in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Wednesday’s announcement is on top of the 1000 call centre staff added in April who were based in based in Australia, but hired by private companies after a six-month, $51.7 million trial of 250 call centre operators employed by Serco.

Mr Keenan said the department was going through enormous technological change.

“Over time, I would like people to interact on the digital channels so you can sit on your couch and do everything you need to do with the government,” he said.

“Whilst we undergo that transformation, I would like to ensure people still get the service experience that they need.”