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GBPA Partnership to Boost Employability of GB Graduates

Executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited (GBPA) have partnered with the local Call Centre operator, Island Outsourcers, a subsidiary of iTelBPO Solutions out of Jamaica, to prepare hundreds of future Grand Bahama graduates for employment and future careers in the island’s Call Center & Business Processing Outsourcing industry.

The initiative referred to as the ‘Contact Center Education Initiative’ was introduced last week Thursday during the final school year meeting of the Grand Bahama Principal’s Association  at Freeport Gospel Chapel School.

This  initiative, as shared by Ian Rolle, President of GBPA, is designed to prepare 12th grade students with true employability skills.

“GBPA is very proud of this collaborative partnership with iTelBPO, which in addition to providing certified training, seeks to address some of the inefficiencies many employers find disconcerting,” Rolle noted. “This program will prepare them with essential soft skills for application in a number of identified growth sectors, especially the ICT industry. These skills will include leadership, customer service, written and verbal communication, problem solving, motivation, interpersonal skills and creativity” Rolle added.

Ms. Trika Mullings, Training & Development Officer at Island Outsourcers, shared with members of the Principal’s Association gathered for the event; the wealth of opportunities for gainful employment and career growth within the Contact Center industry.

“Revenue of contact center services in the United States alone reached approximately $18 billion in 2013, and continues to show steady revenue growth,” Mullings stated.

“The ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industry, which includes Call Centers and BPOs employ around 100,000 people in the Caribbean, generating more than $1.5 billion annually in the Caribbean alone,” she said. “There is a broad range of employment and career path opportunities within the sector for trained individuals, which is what the Contact Center Education Initiative will offer.”

Through aggressive research and marketing initiatives, GBPA attracted the 1st standalone Contact Center operation in the Bahamas to Grand Bahama, in the form of Island Outsourcers, a few years ago. Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama, expressed that the Contact Center Education Initiative is very timely, and creates a real opportunity for many graduating students.

“The reality is, thousands of students graduate each year, some have the opportunity to further their education abroad, while many remain at home studying locally and/or searching for gainful employment,” explained Newbold 

“This program will provide an opportunity for students to develop their skills, and in the process, become much more marketable in terms of job-market readiness. Further, this initiative helps to strengthen our value proposition as a destination, making us a more attractive option to contact center operators/investors,” he continued. “Most importantly, we see this effort as an investment in human capital development.”

Principals were encouraged to adapt the online certification programs into their curriculums for the start of the new school year, beginning September 2016.

“GBPA has strategically partnered with Island Outsourcers to create a self-replenishing skills pool for this industry.  Your participating 12th grade students will become certified in various aspects of the contact center industry, as well as in other areas that will prove helpful when entering the job market,” cited Glendia Sweeting, Business Development Officer at GBPA and Project Liaison, as she addressed principals.

“Therefore, we implore you, to get your students certified through this worthwhile education initiative.”

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The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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