Beltraide has plans to up employment rate

Posted By: Marty

Beltraide has plans to up employment rate - 11/29/11 01:32 PM

Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) can help to reduce Belize’s unemployment rate. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) is, therefore, actively seeking out and negotiating with BPO investors.

This is the governing rationale behind the BPO-investment strategies being implemented, Mike Singh, BELTRAIDE’s Executive Chairman, told the Reporter on Tuesday, November 22.

Commonly described as call centers, BPO firms have the potential to provide jobs to scores of Belizeans.

Ready Call Center, for example, already employs approximately 900 people; Infotell has about 80 employees; and Transparent BPO, by mid-2012, is expected to have at least 450 employees, Singh explained.

BELTRAIDE’s Director of Business and Investment Facilitation Services, Shahera McKoy, said these firms continue to expand, and because the other Central American countries’ English-speaking population has already been “saturated” with BPO firms, investors are looking for alternatives.

This opens a door for Belize; however, we are often overlooked because investors mistake us for a Spanish-speaking country because we are situated in Central American.

It is for this reason BELTRAIDE has launched an aggressive Public Relations campaign strategy as part of its four-pronged strategy to provide would-be investors with accurate information, McKoy explained.

Singh also elaborated on the other strategies being utilized.

He cited the two-week Business Processing Outsourcing Specialist Training Program that was held at ITVET. The program, which was a collaborative effort between BELTRAIDE and the Ministry of Education, concluded on Monday, with 66 persons being certified as BPO professionals.

Coupled with the fact that Belizeans speak English as their first language, the training gives participants an extra advantage “by providing them with essential communication, customer service, sales skills and work ethics; thus, making them marketable for employment.”

BELTRAIDE is also working along with Belize Telemedia to offer reduced bandwidth prices to give further incentives to investors.

BELTRAIDE is also working with building owners to ensure that call-center-ready buildings are available in Belize.

Singh says BELTRAIDE is currently negotiating with six firms.

The Reporter

Posted By: Marty

Re: Beltraide has plans to up employment rate - 02/15/12 03:30 PM

Graduates complete BELTRAIDE program training

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) held its third graduation and presentation of certificates exercise on Friday. Shahera Mckoy is the Director of the Business and Facilitation Unit at BELTRAIDE.

Shahera Mckoy, Director of the Business and Facilitation Unit, BELTRAIDE
This is the third graduation for the Business Process Outsources Certification Pilot Program. We have been on the media before for the first and the second graduation and this is the final group of graduates under the program. What the program covered was customer service sales and some IT skills in preparation for the Business Process Outsources Industry. This includes call centers, contact centers and operation that do back office support for a third party company.

Belize, because of it geographic location, is said to be excellent for US companies that want to outsource. Belizeans may be familiar with one such outsourcing company in Belize, Ready Call. Since their existence, several other call in centers have opened businesses in Belize.

Shahera Mckoy

Most people in Belize would be familiar with the concept of call centers. These are centers that are either offering sales service, customer service or other business support services for other businesses and it’s usually companies in the US and other parts of the world that would outsource these functions to other countries and Belize has been providing these services to those companies. Of recent there has been an increase interest in companies setting up operations in Belize and as such BELTRAIDE partnered with the Ministry of Education, ITVET, the ICT Center and some industry operators and stakeholders and they decided that this was a good opportunity to actually train Belizeans to develop the skills needed for this industry.

BPO already hires hundreds of Belizeans. In the case of Ready Call, they are close to a thousand. The training sessions were carried out over a duration of two weeks and Mckoy tells us what the participants learned during that period of time.

Shahera Mckoy
What this training does is develop the professionals for the industry. What has been happening in the past is that people would go in to the call centers not knowing what the expectations are of the industry and what this training has done is basically open their eyes to what is expected of them and have them determine if this a good fit for them. So from the onset, the trainees are told what the expectations are, what the industry is about and what skills, attitudes and work ethics are needed for this industry. At the end of the program, you have a well-rounded BPO specialist who understands the industry and who has the necessary skills to perform well.

Plus news spoke with graduates who participated in the two week training.

Everything is new for me because I was unemployed for some time now and I decided to come in and take this course. It is different and it is challenging because everything I was learning is new. It is different from what I used to do.

How do you feel now that you have gotten the training?

Good. When the girl told me that I passed, I wanted to scream.

I just want to say that I am really grateful to BELTRAIDE, the Ministry of Education, CIT, CET and ITVET for coming together and providing the BPO training for us. It was excellent and the trainings were hands on and exciting. Heads up to Ms. Kanesha Young; she did real good with us. I know the certification is going to be well appreciated by the employers that will come to Belize.

I live here in Belmopan; I’m a single mother and I was recently working at Builders Hardware. It deals with a lot of community service and sales and I am proud of myself for doing this program and that I passed. I thank the people for giving us this opportunity to take this program.

The class initially started out with over a hundred persons and fifty eight of them met the requirements for graduation.


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