Porter Airlines recruiting call centre agents in Bathurst

Porter Airlines is recruiting seven full-time bilingual call centre agents in Bathurst, the company confirmed to CBC.

New Brunswick's most bilingual city attractive choice for Toronto-based company

Porter Airlines says it will hire seven bilingual agents in Bathurst. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Toronto-based Porter Airlines is recruiting seven full-time bilingual call centre agents in Bathurst, the company confirmed to CBC.

''It's good news,'' said Bathurst Mayor Paolo Fongemie.

A spokesperson for Porter Airlines said the employees would be able to provide support to the company's French-speaking customers, while Porter's primary call centre remains based in Toronto.

"We're the city that has the highest rate of bilingual people,'' said Fongemie, who believes it played a large role in the company's choice.

The latest census from Statistics Canada found 65 per cent of people in Bathurst were bilingual. Edmundston and Campbellton came in second in the province.

"It's a great asset that our population has,'' said Fongemie.

A seven-week training for the employees is planned to begin in March, after which, they will eventually work from home.

'It's a start'

Fongemie said this is the second time in the last few months multinational companies have looked to hire bilingual employees for customer service type jobs in the area.

In December, India-based call centre company HGS was revealing it was looking for a few dozen employees in Northern New Brunswick to train to work from home.

"In the last few years there's been a lot of companies that have come in Bathurst and hired people from Bathurst to be able to do that type of work,'' said Fongemie.

"It's a start, but I'm hopeful it will grow.''

Opportunities New Brunswick said Porter made the Crown corporation aware it wanted to expand its workforce, but no financial incentive was offered to the company to attract it to the province.