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L o a d i n g . . .
Three Maastricht based companies and the municipality of Maastricht will cooperate closely in the area of customer services. They will be supported by educational organisations Arcus, Leeuwenborgh and Hogeschool Zuyd. These seven parties have signed an agreement on 24 February in the city hall of Maastricht. The cooperation, named Customer Service Valley, focuses on the labour market, innovation and public relations and marketing. The goal is to encourage more organisations to join in the following years.
Customer Service Valley
In Maastricht and the surrounding area a number of 20 companies are active, specialised in customer services. This represents a total of 5,000 jobs, expected to grow to 6,000 in 2020.
From the trade and industry as well as from local governments there is a wish to cooperate more in order to strengthen the sector and increase the clout. It’s all about introducing new ideas in the fields of education, image and quality. The municipality of Maastricht will invest 300,000.00 euro in the coming 3 years in attracting personnel and new companies to the sector. The three companies will contribute 15,000.00 euro each per year.
Mr Aarts, alderman for Economy in Maastricht, is happy with the covenant: “This sector with its 5,000 jobs is already very important to the Maastricht economy. But improvements can be made. If the companies work together on a structural level in education and quality of services, it will lead to a stronger image and this will attract new companies. This region in particular, where many people speak multiple languages, is an excellent location for these companies. Limburg has a unique border location and is an interesting region for highly educated employees”.
The cooperation is most importantly aimed at education: organising further training and retraining and also positioning the sector better in the field of education. The goal is to make sure that working in customer services is seen as a conscious career choice. Many people nowadays think that a job as a customer service employee is temporary work or a side job for students. Changing this perception can contribute to solving the current mismatch on the regional labour market. Currently there are many job seekers who do not find their way to the customer service centre.
Tom Custers of Arvato Bertelsmann: “Within Arvato, the education and development of employees are key values, embedded in our company philosophy. We are very enthusiastic about the Customer Service Valley and expect to make nice steps forward for our employees.”
Marc Croijmans, program manager Economics