One year after BTC began a restructuring exercise, the country’s leading telecommunications company has become the employer of first choice in The Bahamas with training and skills development sharing top billing with capital expenditure for upgrades, according to CEO Geoff Houston. The result, he said, is nearly 100% Bahamian staff, including several new appointments in key positions.
Houston’s comments came one day after he said he underplayed a staffing question at a press conference.
“I was asked about Bahamianization and I said we were very proud that BTC is more than 97% Bahamian,” said Houston today. “But after Monday’s press conference announcing the third round of rate reductions, I was corrected by Human Resources and told the Bahamian ratio had increased and BTC is now 99% Bahamian. That gives us even more reason to feel proud as the aim is to make this company 100% Bahamian as it should be in serving a Bahamian market.”
The few work permits held now, he said, were largely those held by suppliers who are installing updated equipment to replace aging, antiquated technology no longer capable or supporting the load or the demands and often so out of date, he said, that parts are no longer available.
BTC has also appointed Bahamians to key executive positions in recent months. Among those appointments are well-known journalist Jerome Sawyer as Senior Manager, Public Relations, successful businessman and immediate past vice chairman of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce Gershan Major to head up Retail and Enterprise.
The company has 794 staff members.
99% Bahamian — BTC CEO Geoff Houston, centre, flanked by Vice Presidents Gershan Major, left, Marlon Johnson, right, and Felicity Johnson, far right, is pictured at Monday’s press conference announcing the third round of rate reductions, this time for postpaid cellular customers. Shortly after the press conference, Houston said he had understated the number of Bahamians at BTC following the company’s privatization and restructuring. He had put the figure at 97%. It’s actually 99% Bahamian. (Photo by Farreno Ferguson)