Communications giant Vodafone has unveiled plans for a major office upgrade in an effort to fill 300 vacancies at its Stoke-on-Trent contact centre.

The company launched a recruitment drive in March for hundreds of new sales staff as part of ongoing expansion plans to create a 'centre of sales excellence' in the city.

Vodafone has already upgraded its benefits package for staff, including increased parental, maternity and paternity leave, discounts and vouchers and free access to services to support wellbeing and financial health.

Staff also get dedicated time during the year to step back from their normal work routine to participate in development and training courses.

Now the company is preparing to transform part of its Etruria base to create the 'workplace of the future' for new and existing staff.

The new office space will include a 'mock shop' which will be home to Vodafone's first virtual store, a sales lounge, breakout areas and an auditorium for briefings as well as dedicated project spaces, a wall of praise and a new prayer room and washing facilities.

Jon Shaw, head of consumer sales in the UK at Vodafone, said: "We wanted to create an environment where the team want to come in, and as a result we have started to bring more jobs to Stoke-on-Trent.

"The plans for the new office space have been driven by the staff and it will continue to develop as the team continues to feedback.

"We know that if our staff are happy here, they will stay here – and bring their friends."

Ryan Rubertazzi, Vodafone's head of telesales and retention, added: "There is so much opportunity for progression here at Vodafone, we've promoted 76 people in the last 12 months, so the job that someone starts on day one isn't necessarily the job they will end up with.

"We've also become more flexible when it comes to shift patterns and part-time options for say, working mothers, and this has led to us building a really diverse workforce."

Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Jo Gideon was recently given a tour of Vodafone's Stoke-on-Trent base.

She said: "I'm absolutely delighted to hear about the 300 new jobs that are being created at Vodafone, and the plans for the new office space.

"Vodafone's Stoke-on-Trent operation truly is a major hub outside of London, particularly when it comes to training, and it is vital that we are able to attract large companies to the city.

"We have seen a huge cultural shift over the last two years and businesses are now starting to understand what a modern workplace needs to look like in order to attract and retain people – and the employee experience is a vital element of that.

"During my visit I was able to have a conversation with staff members who told me that they have moved from other companies in the city and Vodafone is an exceptional place to work."

Original article: BusinessLive

Related