New Customer Services Institute seeking to reduce local skills deficit

With services continuing to account for a mounting share of Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economist and business consultant Joycelyn Williams believes that local service providers are likely to discover an increasing need for training in disciplines related to enhancing the quality of customer service.

She believes too that the nation’s young job-seekers will increasingly seek out training in the discipline of customer service in order to better position themselves to secure employment.

The University of Guyana and Cambridge University-trained  economist with a noteworthy reputation as a consultant to both the public and private sectors is the Consultant Principal of the JTW Management Institute which, on September 11, graduated 11 students with City and Guilds certification in Customer Service Improvement. Williams told Stabroek Business that the ceremony, which was held in the Conference Hall of the National Library, also marked the formal launch of her fledgling institute.

The 11 graduates are drawn from private sector entities in Georgetown and Linden and Williams says registration for Customer Service and English courses at the institute is ongoing and open to anyone who has attained the age of 16.

Graduands of JTW’s inaugural Customer Services Course
Graduands of JTW’s inaugural Customer Services Course

The creation of the institute is, in effect, a strategic diversification for the well-respected consultant who believes that the emergence of the Institute can create career-making opportunities for young school-leavers with limited academic accomplishments and persons with modest jobs in the service sector who are desirous of raising their profiles.

In support of her view that the courses offered by the institute can contribute meaningfully to the domestic human resource base in an emerging service economy Williams points to the importance of customer service training for call centre employees in circumstances where the centres are significant employers of Guyanese and where there are indications  of increasing investment in the sector. Williams also told Stabroek Business that she believes the continued national emphasis on the goal of creating a competitive tourism sector also gave rise to the need to contemplate the creation of skills pools in various disciplines including Customer Service.

The creation of the Institute has challenged Williams to venture into new disciplines and part of her current professional pursuits is further publicising what she believes is a demand for greater national emphasis on the discipline of Customer Service. For more than 12 years she has been a consultant in a range of disciplines that include Project Planning and Design, Project Management and Implemen-tation, Private Sector Development, Design of Technical Assistance Programmes, Business and Strategic Planning, and Cluster and Value-Chain Analysis. Earlier this year, Williams developed a winning concept, “The  Guyana Forestry Commission Value-added Project” for submission to the Inter-American Development Bank and the regional organization, Compete Caribbean.

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