Government Takes On Call Centre Training…

Today, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Trade and Investment Promotion Mike Singh signed a memorandum of understanding with C.E.O. in the Ministry of Education David Leacock. That M.O.U. envisions the start-up of a call centre training facility. There are currently sixteen companies in the ‘business processing outsourcing’ industry, so to speak, employing some two thousand six hundred people. It’s huge in the country, and getting bigger, but the companies involved want to move away from active training, and want access to a ready-trained pool. That’s where the government, and the M.O.U. signed today, come in.

 

Mike Singh, C.E.O., Ministry of Trade and Investment Promotion

“We field, I would say, at least one or two inquiries a week on companies desired to set up BPO centers in Belize as well as expansion plans from those centers that are already here. So we ran a survey of those businesses and found out that we could be expected as much as two thousand one hundred new employees in that sector over the next year and a half, two years. Now one of the challenges they have given to us is that they have a very difficult time finding employees and that the turnover is high beucase people don’t come in with the basic training that is needed. They may come in with a high school diploma, with the ability to read/write and to do basic analysis and calculations, but when it comes to the finer points of customer service, the ability to use the technology that they use and the ability to get into the mode of supporting the US businesses; that seems to be missing. So about two years ago, we did a pilot project in partnership with ITVET and we trained two hundred and seventy young people—all of which I am proud to say are now working at different centers in Belize. The idea is that we will transform a portion of the ITVET campus on Freetown Road into what we call the Rapid Training Institute. The idea is that what we will do is go out, seek at least a hundred Belizeans per month, put them into the training, certify them in call centers and at the end of the training, we will go through a recruitment drive with the centers so that they will come in and directly interview and hire people on the spot. This is what they are asking us to do; this is the model that we used two years ago that was very successful. The target is that we should have at least a thousand persons added to that list within a year and hopefully we get to that two thousand people within the two-year target that we are looking at, which should make a fundamental difference with our employment numbers.”

 

According to Singh, the idea is to expand these centres into other areas, including tourism and hospitality management.

 

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