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Students on the line

N Reid
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

MORE than 6,000 students at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) will start working in the school's new call centre next month.

The idea is to make tertiary education more affordable for Jamaicans, UWI said.

The project, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, is being launched in partnership with America's Sutherland Global Services.

Sutherland is one of the largest global business process outsourcing companies in the world, offering back-office and front-office services to support its clients customers from the moment the ask about buying a product until the last tech support request.

Among its clients are Deutsche Bank, the largest foreign exchange dealer in the world, and Asia's biggest low-fare airline, AirAsia.

The convenience of working on campus is one plus for students, UWI said. They will also gain experience in a professional environment.

UWI declined to comment on its plans but told prospective employees that jobs are only available to registered students and are offered on a full-time basis. Flexible hours ensure that students manage both the jobs and their studies.

Full-time students will not be allowed to work for more than 12 hours each week.

In response to advertisements from the University's Placement and Career Services Department, hundreds of students lined up to hand in résumés and do on-the-spot interviews at the University's Law Faculty last month.

This was the second step in the process of becoming customer-care consultants.

The recruitment exercise began with orientation sessions geared toward informing the applicants about the job and what was expected of them.

UWI promised that those employed in their call centre will take home more than the average $30,000-$40,000 per month earned by others in the industry, although it would not say how much more.

"The UWI/SGS advantage will provide [students] with an opportunity to work as a customer-care consultant while taking home more pay than others in the industry performing at a similar level," the school said.

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