The Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr. Horace Chang says Jamaica’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector will be improved through specialized training.
The government is targeting the BPO sector for significant growth which will positively impact the administration’s 5:4 target to grow the economy.
Speaking at a meeting with representatives of some of the island’s tertiary institutions and key government agencies on Monday (December 12), Dr. Chang said specialised training in the BPO sector will increase the governments’ ability to create jobs.
“BPOs are often viewed as call centres offering cheap labour and I want persons to stop looking at the industry as a sweat shop,” said Minister Chang. “We must change the image of the sector through skills training,” he added.
In this regard, Minister Chang stated that the “the HEART TRUST/NTA will lead the national effort and will develop a programme to have persons trained in the particular areas.”
It is expected that the work plan for the programme will be submitted by mid-January.
For the past six years, Jamaica’s BPO industry has experienced tremendous growth, with over 40 companies operating in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)/BPO Sector. Employment has steadily moved from approximately 12,000 persons in 2011 to more than 18,000 at the end of 2015.
The institutions and agencies in attendance included, HEART TRUST/NTA, University of Technology (UTECH), Council of Community Colleges, JAMPRO, Ministry of Education, Development Bank of Jamaica and the Port Authority of Jamaica.