The shortlist has been announced for the 23rd annual Welsh Contact Centre Awards and it includes Lloyds Bank and the Office of National Statistics, which are based in Newport.

Among the 21 company and individual awards, new categories will recognise the agility and dedication that allowed businesses to rapidly develop and deploy Covid, homeworking, and transformation strategies to support their staff and customers.

Kath Chivers, of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, said: “The pandemic has touched all of our lives. When our high streets and workplaces were closed, we all depended on the on the ability to pick up the phone and get support.

“These awards recognise the monumental work that ensured there would be someone there to answer those calls. We’ll applaud the rapid mobilisation that saw nearly 32,000 people transition to home working. Ultimately, we will celebrate those who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to safeguarding the wellbeing of teams who have given their all to support customers.

“Emerging from the crisis of the pandemic, in many ways the call centre industry feels closer than it ever has. We applaud all our members who are ensuring that the innovations, technology, and new ways of hybrid working successfully deployed during this crisis. Innovations that will continue to provide new employment and training opportunities for all.”

The headline sponsor of the awards is Jomo People, which specialises in recruiting for the sector.

Sarah Hopkins, co-founder and talent partner at Jomo People, said: "These awards are an opportunity for those outside the sector to discover what we believe makes contact centres unique places to work.

"As the industry transitions into new hybrid ways of working, now more than ever we are looking to recruit new talents who can bring skills from other sectors. By supporting the awards, we hope people from a range of backgrounds will be able to discover exactly why we love this fast-paced industry, and what it offers for those who look for flexibility and progression in their careers.”

The finalists are competing in the following categories: Covid Hero; Apprentice of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; Support Person; Advisor of the Year; Team Leader of the Year; Trainer of the Year; Support Manager; Contact Centre Manager; Senior Manager; Best Covid Strategy; Best Homeworking Programme; Public Sector Helpline; Business Transformation Strategy; Support Team of the Year; People Development; Best Inclusion Strategy; Customer Engagement; People Engagement; Outsourced / Shared Service Centre of the Year; and Inhouse Contact Centre of the Year.