#Montego Bay, January 10, 2019 – Jamaica – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is calling on players in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to start shifting from call centre operations to higher-value services.
“We, the Government, understand that this industry is susceptible to rapid change. My view is that the industry will not go away, but …artificial intelligence will transform the industry,” he pointed out.
“So, Jamaica cannot rest comfortably at the level that we are in. (The industry) must increase its performance levels from merely being telephone operators to absorb more of the high-value skills. [The sector] has to significantly and rapidly move from the business process engineering and development, to the knowledge process,” he added.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the official opening of the Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited’s Data Entry Building Number 7 in St. James on Wednesday (January 9). Mr. Holness said that the level of training must increase to meet the growing needs of the BPO sector.
“It cannot be that we have investors here and we are not supplying, rapidly, the quality trained workers. We have to get going on that in a more aggressive way,” Mr. Holness said.
“I gather now you will be above 10,600 persons employed and that the BPO sector, in terms of its employment, is now in excess of 36,000 persons. I am certain that before the year is out, we should be close to 40,000, if not passing it,” he said.
Data Entry Building Number 7 houses BPO companies Concentrix Global Jamaica and Unique Vacations Limited, the latter of which is the booking arm of Sandals Resort International. Both entities employ 2,000 persons combined.
Contact: Serena Grant
Header: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre) cuts the ribbon to open the Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited’s Data Entry Building Number 7 on Wednesday (January 9). Sharing the moment (from left) are Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation; Hon. Karl Samuda; Attorney General and Member of Parliament for West Central St. James, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte; President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley; and Chairman of the Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited, Antony Mark Hart.
Insert: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (left) is given a tour of Concentrix Global Jamaica by Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Grala (right). Concentrix is one of two companies housed in the Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited’s Data Entry Building Number 7, which was officially opened on Wednesday (January 9). The other company is Unique Vacations Limited.
Yhomo Hutchinson photos