MORE than 370 people at a telecoms company have been told their jobs are at risk.

WDS, based at Upton Road in Poole and Discovery Court in Wallisdown, says it expects to re-deploy up to two-thirds of the staff affected.

The firm, owned by Xerox, provides the support staff who answer calls to some of the leading mobile phone, smartphone and tablet manufacturers One member of staff said the people affected provided IT support to users of the Google Nexus 5 phone and the Nexus 7 and 10 tablets.

He said many of the people involved had been recruited in Europe so they could provide technical support to speakers of other languages.

He said some had only recently relocated to the UK.

“We are supporting a European centre so most of the time they recruit from outside the UK.

“The approach wasn't very good. Most of those people have been employed for less than six months,” he said.

“I know someone who was recruited three weeks ago. “ He said staff had been gathered for a meeting and told about the consultation process over the redundancies.

A statement from the company said: “Today WDS, a Xerox Company, began discussions with employees in Poole about possible job reductions. These reductions, while very difficult decisions, reflect the changing business requirements of our clients.

“We are entering into consultation with 373 employees, however, we expect to place more than two-thirds of that number into other jobs within our company. The final impact is expected to be less than 80 positions.”

Only last November, the firm announced it was creating 240 jobs after signing a major new client, which was not named.

At that time, Ove Ericsson, its general manager for Europe, said: “This is a huge boost to the local economy.

“We work on behalf of some of the best-known brands in the industry. In fact, if you call your mobile operator, smartphone or tablet manufacturer with a question, there's a good chance you'll actually be talking to one of our expert support agents.”