-over 200 residents to be employed
Over 200 residents of Linden are promised employment at the newly refurbished Kara Kara Call Centre which previously housed the Toucan Connection Call Centre. Efforts are now being made to make the facility operational. On Friday, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips, toured the facility, along with Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton and other government and regional officials.
The Toucan Connection Call Centre was abruptly closed in 2015, leaving about 90 employees out of a job. The St Kitts-based call centre shut its doors, within no prior notification and many of the workers, up to this day, have not received severance pay. In 2019, the now defunct Ministry of Telecommunications, commenced extensive renovations to the building, which is now completed. The total cost for the refurbishment is $142M.
During his tour of the facility, PM Phillips said the call centre’s main aim is to create employment for Lindeners. Linden currently has an unemployment rate of 70 per cent. “It is our intention, as part of the overriding principle, to create employment for the people of Linden…So Linden will not be left out of the plans for Guyana. The focus now is on the development of all Guyana and all Guyanese”. Prime Minister Phillips added that “we will put out expressions of interest for investors to come to inspect and to set up their businesses here—by doing that, they will create employment, since the plan is for furthering social and economic development within the region, while providing a conducive environment for investment.”
Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, stated that the Ministry of Labour, through the Board of Industrial Training, is currently exploring having training programmes and other opportunities available to residents in the region. “We have a responsibility as the Ministry of Labour to create conditions regarding stabilised employment, so we have an interest in this matter [Toucan Call Centre], and so I am here to lend support to the Prime Minister.”
The Regional Executive Officer for Region 10, Mr Dwight John, who also toured the facility, lauded the initiative and posited that it would bring much-needed economic development to the region.