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Warriors Set Pace for GBPA’s Contact Center Education Initiative

In true Warriors fashion, seniors at the Bishop Michael Eldon High School (BMES), were the first to participate in the Contact Center Education Initiative (CCEI), a partnership project recently launched by The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), and local Call Center operators, Island Outsourcers/itelBPO Solutions.

On Friday, 9th September, BMES held its first CCEI class consisting of approximately thirty-nine 12th grade Advance Placement (AP) students. According to the school’s Vice Principal Sophia Howden, the CCEI aligns well with the school’s vision regarding international certifications.

 

“The school has been taking more of an international approach to certifications, and as a result, this is the second international program being offered at BMES,” expressed Howden. “We believe it is important to effectively prepare our students for the workplace by providing opportunities for them to develop themselves. We are excited to be onboard with the CCEI and to offer this program to our AP students,” Howden continued.

The CCEI was launched earlier this year to support and grow Grand Bahama’s newly budding Call Center industry. President of GBPA, Ian Rolle says he is excited about future industry prospects and is pleased to see such high enthusiasm for the initiative from local high schools.

“This program is geared towards equipping graduates with meaningful training, driven by enhanced employability skills to support the island’s Contact Center industry,” Rolle explained. “The win/win factor is that all skills acquired through the program will prove valuable to every local employer. That said, this initiative clearly demonstrates that we are not only building the Contact Center and BPO industry; we are also building a skilled labour resource pool.” the President added.

BMES Administrators have tabled training modules as stand-alone courses occurring each term, comprised of three 45 minute sessions each week. Upon successful completion, students will receive diplomas in Customer Service (term 1); Introduction to Sales Management (Term 2) and Leadership Skills in Business (term 3). 

Sr. Manager of Business Development & Invest Grand Bahama for GBPA, Derek Newbold, notes that based on current industry statistics, the call center industry in the Caribbean region has an economic impact of more than $2.5 billion annually. 

“The call center industry is new to Grand Bahama; however, make no mistake, it is a very lucrative industry with enormous potential for job creation and sustainable  economic growth,” cited Newbold. 

“Jamaica is currently experiencing significant growth, with an anticipated increase of 15,000 new jobs in the sector by 2020. This would improve employment in the industry to well over 30,000 jobs in Jamaica. Through the CCEI, Grand Bahama is positioning itself to capitalize on a burgeoning call center industry, by virtue of human capital development, and the creation of a self-replenishing labor pool,” Newbold continued.

To-date, all Grand Bahama high schools have received training for the web-based learning platform, with teachers now incorporating the modules into their weekly curriculum.  Alpha Omega students are next on the line-up to commence training this week.

ABOUT GBPA


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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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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THE WAY FORWARD


Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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