The Information Communication Technology (ICT)/Knowledge Services sector accounted for approximately 58 per cent of jobs created during the last financial year, according to minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz.
He made the disclosure while addressing a plenary session at the just concluded Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF), held from June 12 to 14 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
Vaz noted that over 60 companies currently offer call centre and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, generating more than 26,000 jobs across the island.
He said companies such as Conduent Business Process Services (formerly Xerox Commercial Services); Sutherland Global Services and Hinduja Global Services continued to expand operations during the period, while also increasing their labour pool.
“Newcomers, ibex and National Credit Adjusters, have also established themselves firmly in the BPO space and are already planning expansions over the short to medium-term,” Vaz said.
He noted that the Government is far advanced in the implementation of the five-year National Strategy for the Development of Jamaica’s Outsourcing Industry with the formation of the IT-BPO taskforce and appointment of a national BPO co-ordinator.
The taskforce has responsibility for improving Jamaica’s readiness for BPO investments, and overseeing implementation and updating of a BPO industry development work plan, while the coordinator is charged with introducing strategies to boost local and foreign investments in the sector, thereby enhancing job creation.
“We are also moving to strengthen the enabling environment for the sector, including the policy and legislative framework, labour market enhancement, infrastructure development and market penetration,” Vaz said.
Meanwhile, he informed that the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has so far disbursed over US$56.7 million to the BPO sector, which is 78 per cent of its total loan commitment of US$73 million to the sector.