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Nov 21, 2011

Business Processing outsourcing graduates 66

Call centers have been growing in numbers as many overseas companies turn to the region looking for trained personnel. It is a relative new industry that has the potential of providing employment opportunities to hundreds of otherwise jobless persons. With unemployment hovering at close to twenty-four percent, BELTRAIDE has embarked on a program to train scores of Belizeans willing to venture into this field. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Business Processing Outsourcing, BPO as it is commonly known, is a quickly emerging field in the local job industry dealing primarily with customer service care.  The past five years have seen the advent of several such companies employing hundreds of Belizeans.  To formalize the profession the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, along with the Ministry of Education, created a curriculum through which future employees are being trained.  This morning the first crop of sixty-six graduates was certified during a brief commencement ceremony at the ITVET Building.  According to BELTRAIDE’s executive director, Mike Singh, business processing outsourcing is an ever-growing field regionally.

Mike Singh, Executive Director, BELTRAIDE

Mike Singh

“It is an area that is growing fast in our region as many companies that typically would have hired employees and set up businesses in India or the Philippines are now looking at Central America and the Caribbean as a potential area for developing this industry.  We felt that this is an area that we can create employment very quickly in large numbers, and employment that we feel suits the skills and the abilities and the desires of our employees in Belize, of a certain level.”

Pastor Perez

Pastor Perez is one of a handful of students to successfully complete a Specialist Training Program.

Pastor Perez, Graduate, BPO Training Program

“This training was exciting, also we got a lot of things to do in telesales, customer service [care] and much more.”

On its surface employment in the field is simply answering or placing a call to the multitude of clients each company represents.  Beyond the cordialities however, are a specific set of skills including effective communication and sales that remain in high demand for a number of reasons.

Mike Singh

“We feel that the BPO sector provides employment not only for young people and as we can see in this room also for people of all ages.  It could be for retirees that are looking for a second career.  It could be for people that maybe want to have split shifts, that they want to have time left available for raising a family or for pursuing further education.  So it’s a very appropriate level of employment in an environment where you’re not necessarily doing manual work, you’re actually learning skills that can take you not just to further yourself not just to further yourself within the company that you’re working but also to make yourself relevant in another company because the skills that are being learned in this sector are customer service.”

It’s a rigorous two-week program which should see job placements across the market providing that these students are able to fit into the existing working environments.

Graduate, BPO Training Program

“This training was very intense because in two weeks we had to learn how to manage and handle different types of customers when it comes to customer service and as you know there are different types of customers which we have to learn.  So in two weeks even though it’s a short amount of time we still had just enough pressure for us to learn and grasp all of this that was taught to us.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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