Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the policy of the Government is not just to create employment but to create a culture of work.
Commenting on the increase in Global Services Sector through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the country and the record number of employment, Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government must increase training to support the expansion of the industry.
“It is clear that the policy of the Government can’t just be employment. The policy of the Government has to be to create a culture of work. Employment can only happen in a significant way when there is a culture of work where people appreciate the value of their labour. So, it’s not just the employer that must appreciate the value of labour but people themselves and that culture is not always fully spread in the population. So, an agency like HEART has to configure its program to address this issue as to why it is some of its people (who) just don’t want to work and frown upon work and I hear it coming through in some of the criticisms of the BPO industry and I would rebuke those criticisms,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister further explained that a culture work creates an environment that limits the chances of nefarious activities.
“The truth is that you have to start somewhere, and we must recognise that it is better to be employed than doing nothing becoming candidates for all kinds of nefarious activities,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister charged the BPO industry and HEART NTA to transform the way they do business.
“We the Government are very seized and understand that this industry is susceptible to rapid change. My view is that the industry will not go away but it will be transformed. Artificial Intelligence will transform the industry, so Jamaica cannot rest comfortably at the level that it is in the industry. It must increase its performance levels from merely being telephone operators to absorb more of the high-value skills. So, it has to move now, significantly and rapidly from the Business Process engineering and development to more the knowledge process and we can measure how that transformation is going,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, the Prime Minister noted that Jamaica is in a competitive space and must conclude on certain decisions for the greater good of the economy.
“We must conclude that we have to give priority to business and investment and we must become efficient in how we give our approvals,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the Official Opening Ceremony for the Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited Data Entry Building Number 7 on Wednesday, January 9.
The facility was constructed by The Port Authority of Jamaica in the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ)