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L o a d i n g . . .

Customer Service Valley launches new intermediate vocational education programme

04 Dec 2015

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The official kick-off of the level-two intermediate vocational training programme ‘Contact Center Agent’ took place this past Tuesday, 1 December, at the Customer Service College in Maastricht, the Customer Service Valley training centre. The programme offers those with poor job prospects three months of intensive training for a job in customer service. This social initiative will provide a job guarantee to sixteen individuals.


“This initiative shows that municipalities, educational institutions, and the private sector are joining forces more and more often, resulting in productive partnerships,” says Maastricht alderman André Willems (labour market policy). To select candidates, Customer Service Valley worked together with Podium24, an employment intermediary with a focus on the implementation of the Participation Act (Participatiewet), including helping those with poor job prospects. Sixteen students were selected for the level-two intermediate vocational training programme.
A level-three intermediate vocational training programme was also launched in September of this year for students already working in the customer service industry. During the programme, participants are trained in various subjects, including Dutch, English, arithmetic, and citizenship (social studies). Considerable attention is also devoted to occupation-specific courses on service provision, sales, customer contact, communication techniques, and information collection in relation to working in a contact centre environment. It is a nationally recognized intermediate vocational training programme. The education is provided by Arcus College, one of the covenant partners.
Training “agents” supports Customer Service Valley’s goal of creating a thousand new jobs in South Limburg in three years’ time.


Customer Service Valley is a triple-helix cooperation (government, business community, and education) in which Vodafone, Q-Park, Arvato Bertelsmann, the Municipality of Maastricht, and the educational organizations Arcus, Leeuwenborgh, and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences together work towards strengthening the customer service sector in the South Limburg region. This is achieved through training programmes, knowledge exchange, innovation, and the further professionalization of the field. Maastricht and the surrounding area have around thirty companies with an active call centre. These call centres provide 5,000 jobs, of which 1,500 are in Customer Service Valley. The ambition of Customer Service Valley is to increase this number from 5,000 to 6,000 in three years, partly by projecting itself as an attractive location for Dutch and international companies with a customer service department.


Note to the editor: For more information, please contact Marieke Kraak, the programme coordinator for Customer Service Valley, on +31 (0)6 117 340 30.


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