Soft skills are what will give employees the edge as the country attempts to shift to service-oriented industries Wendy Augustus, executive director of Roytec, has said.
“Sixty-five percent of our population have had access to tertiary education. So most people are qualified. The present economic climate will require value for money,” Augustus told the newest recipients of the Certificate in Global Business Services and Soft Skills at a graduation ceremony held Tuesday at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Mt Hope.
There was a time when the focus was only on hard or technical skills, she said. Now, because of the impact of these soft skills on the bottom line of a company, employers are paying closer attention to these attributes. Among the most important soft skills, Augustus said, were communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism, responsibility, teamwork and a positive work ethic.
Training for the programme was jointly undertaken by Roytec and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and the 50 participants were funded by a bursary provided by the TT International Financial Sector. This is the programme’s second year. Its purpose is to create a trained and qualified workforce as the country tries to grow its financial services outsourcing industry.
This year, TT moved up two notches on the AT Kearny Global Services Location Index, to 40 out of 55 countries providing outsourcing services, TTIFC vice president Aliyah Jagessar said. “This highlights our rising international profile. We are determined to continue cultivating TT’s huge potential in the areas of financing, accounting and outsourcing,” she added.
TTIFC chairman Richard P Young said the burgeoning financial services industry offered opportunity and options for career growth for the participants and economic diversification for the country.
“TT needs you and the skills you have mastered. The country stands to benefit from being a major player in the global sector and that means you now are now part of a very important plan,” he said. Soft skill training included corporate etiquette and image management, ethics for financial service providers, public speaking and presentation skills, customer service and telephone etiquette, and interviewing skills.