Nova Scotia

Reopened Cape Breton call centre can't fill jobs

The call centre in Port Hawkesbury is hiring, but the company is having a hard time recruiting people.

The call centre in Port Hawkesbury is hiring, but the company is having a hard time recruiting people.

Minacs officially reopens in September, after being shut down at the end of last year.

Minacs requires about 200 people to work on the new contract that it landed with a Canadian bank.

It's been trying to recruit former workers and has held job fairs in the outlying communities.

But so far only half the number needed have answered the call.

"I think that anything that has a significant size to it, it always takes a little bit of time to bring the momentum up," said Andrew Clarke, vice president of Minacs.

Merchants in Port Hawkesbury are eager to see local people take the jobs — they also took a hit when the call centre closed last Christmas.

"We've been working with Minacs, through the chamber, encouraging them and it would be great to have the new jobs back, because it take effect on us all," said Parker Stone, president of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Contact Centre Association of Nova Scotia said recruiting in the summer is difficult in any business.

Janet Hawley, executive director of the association, said the industry is stable, with about 12,000 Nova Scotians working in the sector.

Minacs set up in Port Hawkesbury — a town of about 4,000 — in 2007, taking over a call centre that was abandoned by EDS Canada.

Minacs hopes to increase that number by convincing more people to come on board.

It's holding more job fairs in Port Hood, St Peter's, Arichat, Guysborough and Antigonish this week and next.

The company is also trying to sweeten the deal with a $100 signing bonus.