As one of Jamaica’s newer non-traditional sectors, the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has grown at a staggering rate, but is also clouded in mystery leading to misunderstanding, and, in some cases, stereotyping. With this in mind, JAMPRO, with partners HEART Trust-NTA, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) and Avasant Foundation, hosted the BPO Career Fair to educate Jamaicans about the sector, and recruit people for jobs in the industry.
The event was held on November 3, 2017, at the University of Technology, with more than 1,300 students and job seekers registered for participation. At the career fair, the HEART Trust-NTA recruited registrants for its three-week contact centre/BPO training programme and the MOEYI raised awareness on opportunities for schools to take advantage of programmes to acquire customer service training. BPO companies Itelbpo Smart Solutions, ibex, Sutherland Global, Fusion BPO, VXI Jamaica, Hindujah Global Solutions and Alorica also recruited persons on site for jobs in the industry.
JAMPRO President Diane Edwards explained that the event was part of the agency’s strategy to give Jamaicans an opportunity to learn about BPO and the career opportunities that exist in the sector, “JAMPRO’s interest is in developing the BPO industry for investment and this includes not only attracting investors, but making sure that the environment exists for these investments to expand. We realised that many persons in Jamaica still do not understand the BPO sector, and this career fair gave us the opportunity to educate persons from all age groups, and from all walks of life, about BPO, and the fact that it can be a career option,” she explained.
Tianna Porter-Dean, technical development officer and business process outsourcing coordinator for the Career Advancement Programme at the MOEYI, said that the event provided an exceptional opportunity for the ministry to promote its customer engagement programme, which provides training in high schools. With more than 26 schools in attendance, Porter-Dean said MOEYI officials spoke to teachers and students and sensitised them to options offered through the education ministry to build careers in the BPO sector.
JAMPRO bringing BPO Career Fair to MoBay
After reviewing the success of the BPO Career Fair in Kingston, Edwards said that JAMPRO would be taking the BPO Career Fair to Montego Bay in early 2018 to further promote career opportunities in the sector in western Jamaica. She said, “From the positive feedback we have received from our partners, the companies and the attendees, it is clear that we need to take this event to another location to continue the awareness and job-recruitment drive. As this was the first staging, we will be looking at what can be done to reach more people at the second event, but we believe that this concept has been successful, and we look forward to promoting BPO as a career option in western Jamaica, and facilitating the recruitment of persons to work in the industry.”