Over 250 graphic drawing tablets valued at approximately J$21 million were delivered in August to twelve vocational and tertiary training institutions for their animation training programmes. A second delivery of 57 high-end and larger graphic drawing tablets will be delivered, shortly, to the institutions. The upgrading of animation hardware and software is a key element in strengthening existing animation programmes in Jamaica. The project is being supported by the Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industries (YEDAI) Project in the Office of The Prime Minister.
“Bringing the current technology up to date will allow training institutions to remain competitive and relevant for a number of years to come and will ensure the long-term sustainability of animation training in Jamaica, even after the YEDAI Project is completed” explains Mr Robert Reid, the project’s Animation Specialist.
A survey conducted by the YEDAI Project team earlier this year showed that over 380 students were enrolled in animation programmes at the tertiary, vocational and recently at the secondary level with the introduction of the CXC Cape Syllabus in Animation and Game Design.
In addition, the tertiary and vocational training institutions have reported that enrolment numbers have been rapidly increasing due to the heightened interest of Jamaican youth who are eager to master the art of animation.
The Project is being funded through a US$20 million loan from the IBRD/World Bank to support youth employment in the digital and animation industries. Animation production outsourcing represents an opportunity for Jamaica to build on its present Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) reputation to expand into the more skilled and value-added area of Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO). Other BPO destinations, such as India and the Philippines have followed this developmental model. The global animation industry is valued at approximately US$242 billion and grows at a rate of 6% per annum.
Meanwhile, other YEDAI Project initiatives designed to propel Jamaica on a positive growth path in the global Animation space are: development of a Policy Framework and Strategic Plan, skills and capacity building of training providers, business development and market attendance and the KingstOOn Animation Conference, Competitions and Film Festival.