More jobs planned for EQC claims centre

KASHKA TUNSTALL
Last updated 11:19 05/11/2012

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The Earthquake Commission is still set to bring another 40 jobs to Hamilton for its newly opened claims processing centre in the central business district.

The commission said it would employ 150 staff at the London St centre and since opening in August has taken on 110 workers.

They are largely claims advisers, dealing with portions of insurance claims from the two major Canterbury earthquakes and their aftermath, supplemented with management and support roles.

The commission started recruiting in July, hiring locally after using print, social media and bus shelter advertising, supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Waikato University Careers Centre.

Hamilton was chosen for the centre because of its were many skilled jobseekers, said national customer and claims manager Gail Kettle.

From a strategic point of view, a presence in Hamilton, which was at low risk of natural disaster, would provide a base for operations should Christchurch or Wellington operations need to relocate after a disaster, she said.

The centre first opened with 20 workers and since then the commission has brought on about 20 new staff a week. Kettle said the commission was happy with how the centre was progressing.

"It's going really well, we've got a high calibre of staff and we're really pleased with the people that have joined us," she said.

The EQC has had unprecedented growth, going from a core staff of 22 before the September 2010 earthquake in Christchurch to a staff of about 1000 throughout the country today.

"It's definitely a challenging environment that we've been working on but we have been setting up teams right through," Kettle said.

"But it's not entirely new to us and by bringing on people slowly like we've done we've had the benefit of being able to train each group and set them loose of on the work, so it's gone really well."

Decisions were yet to be made about when the commission would start recruiting for the remaining positions but Kettle indicated it would most likely be in the new year.

kashka.tunstall@waikatotimes.co.nz

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- Waikato

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