The Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre (IFC) has partnered with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to further develop the local financial sector by offering a “Finance and Accounting Business Process Outsourcing” (BPO) program for 50 applicants.
An orientation session for the first cohort in this finance and accounting (F&A) BPO program was held at Trinidad and Tobago IFC’s office of in Port of Spain on June 30 with the second cohort on July 12. The program provides the recipients with ACCA’s Global Business Services (GBS) certification, which is taught online, and Professional Soft Skills training provided via face-to-face learning by UWI-Roytec, a business and applied sciences school in Port of Spain.
The Trinidad and Tobago IFC has offered a full bursary to 50 deserving people with current interest or employment in the local financial services sector. This bursary covers both ACCA’s and UWI-Roytec’s fees for delivering their respective training.
Photo: Recipients of the F&A BPO bursary program join (from left to right, front row) Rachael Mason (Manager – BPO Shared Services, TTIFC), Shane Kissoon, (Business Development Manager, ACCA), Aliyah Jaggassar (VP – BPO Shared Services, TTIFC), and Rudolph Hanamji (Manager – Marketing & Communications, TTIFC).
Niesha Nicholas, a 27-year-old from Petit Bourg who is currently unemployed, attended the session. Nicholas, who has experience working in a financial department and a degree that exposed her to finance and accounting classes, signaled the importance of the newly launched program and the funding provided by the Trinidad and Tobago IFC.
“This program will help diversify the economy, and I will be able to contribute to the ongoing development of Trinidad and Tobago,” she said. “Additionally, I will become more marketable as this program will add to the knowledge I have so I am very excited.”
The global outsourcing industry is valued at $1 trillion USD and generates as much as $2 billion USD in the Caribbean alone. A key part of attracting investment in F&A BPO involves advancing the skills of the nation’s talent pool by preparing the workforce for future opportunities that will generate high-value employment.
“The Trinidad and Tobago IFC is mandated to develop the financial services sector and thereby add to the thrust to diversifying our nation’s economy,” said Joan Ferreira, vice president of corporate services at the Trinidad and Tobago IFC Management Company Limited. “As a major facet of our efforts is the development of the local finance and accounting talent pool, we are proud to launch this bursary program, and we are grateful that [the recipients] have heeded the call.”
On completion of the three-month program, participants will receive three certificates that include the GBS certification from the ACCA, Soft Skills certification from UWI-ROYTEC, and an overall certificate for completion of the F&A BPO training from the Trinidad and Tobago IFC.
The new series of certifications will position this country for growth in the financial sector. The GBS program was developed in consultation with over 150 employers from across the globe and is already available in countries with established BPO industries, including China, Malaysia, and Poland. The local program is tailored for the Trinidad and Tobago market while retaining the globally recognized ACCA certification.
Shane Kissoon, manager of business development at ACCA Caribbean, also spoke at the orientation and said that the ACCA is focused on producing the high-caliber finance professionals that are needed across the globe.
“The ACCA GBS qualification directly contributes to world-class talent management, covering topics including an introduction to global business services; process design, measurement, and control; performance fundamentals; performance optimization; and an introduction to finance and accounting processes,” said Kissoon. “This is a very important step for the Trinidad and Tobago IFC and the participants in the program.”