Nova Scotia

Port Hawkesbury call centre shutting down

Workers at the Minacs Call Centre in Port Hawkesbury were given notice on Thursday that their jobs will end in August.

Company unable to find enough qualified workers although unemployment is high

The Minacs Call Centre is closing its doors once again. (CBC)

Workers at the Minacs Call Centre in Port Hawkesbury were given notice on Thursday that their jobs will end in August. The call centre is closing down after just one year in operation.

Employees were tight-lipped when asked about the closure.

The President of the local Chamber of Commerce, Parker Stone, told CBC he's known about the company's struggles for some time.

The call centre reopened last August with the promise of up to 400 jobs. At the time, Aditya Birla Minacs announced it landed a five-year contract with a Canadian bank.

"They got up to about 160. They were down to 140 last month and now they're at 123. Hard to retain the people in the workforce," Stone said.

The town took a hit last September with the closure of the NewPage Paper Mill. It left 600 people in the mill and 400 in the woods unemployed.

Despite the high unemployment rate that followed, the call centre couldn't recruit enough people. Stone said the bank had specific hiring requirements.

"You had to pass certain credit checks and certain different things that they wanted to see and they're having a hard time meeting the qualifications that was needed for that job."

Stone said the closure of the call centre will be offset by the reopening of the town's paper mill. That's expected to send 229 people back to work.

"It's never good to lose any jobs, and hopefully we'll find something to do at that location," he said.

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