Monday 25 March, 2019

Holness tells HEART Trust to intensify training of BPO workers

Prime Minister Andrew Holness believes a rapid and substantial increase in the number of persons trained in the sector, will play a significant role in Jamaica’s attempts to attain full employment.  

Prime Minister Andrew Holness believes a rapid and substantial increase in the number of persons trained in the sector, will play a significant role in Jamaica’s attempts to attain full employment.  

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called on the HEART Trust NTA and stakeholders in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector to intensify their training efforts to meet the needs of the global Information Technology enabled services industry. 

Holness was speaking at the official opening of the Data Entry Building Number 7 at the Montego Bay Free Zone in St James on Wednesday. 

He said a rapid and substantial increase in the number of persons trained in the sector, will play a significant role in Jamaica’s attempts to attain full employment.  

“I have a charge now to the BPO industry and to HEART NTA that we cannot remain at the level at which we are in the industry.  As I have said the industry will not go away; it will not die; it will transform and if we don’t transform, we will lose the industry,” he cautioned.

“I have been breathing down the neck of HEART to put in place an effective strategy of training persons for the BPO industry.   I know that they have an effort underway and it has made an impact.  But I am always concerned when I hear of situations that a BPO enterprise opened just a few doors down, and then the BPO enterprise that was always in existence would come to work on a Monday morning and half its staff has gone over to the next BPO, and then they are in a quandary – scurrying trying to find replacements,” he added.

Holness also urged BPO stakeholders not to become complacent as the sector is “very susceptible to rapid change”.  He said while it will have longevity, its transformation will be ongoing, especially with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. 

“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 of the knowledge process,” the prime minister said.

“We must rapidly increase our training to increase the expansion of the industry.  It can’t be that we have investors here and we are not supplying very quickly the quality trained workers.  We have to get cracking on that in a more aggressive way,” Holness said.

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