Business Process Outsourcing is diverse – Chang

Monday, March 19, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr Horace Chang, says in order for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to attract more young professionals, greater effort must be made to demonstrate that the sector's services far exceed call centre operations.

Addressing the official opening of new BPO firm, Concentrix Global, at the Montego Bay Freezone in St James on Friday (March 16), Dr Chang noted that there is common misconception that the BPO sector primarily entails “call centre operations for low-paying jobs”, which he dispelled.

The minister pointed out that the industry offers Jamaicans the opportunity to work for Fortune 500 companies, on applications such as tech support, finance functions, debt collection and insurance claims, and general customer care and experience, in addition to basic call centre operations.

“We have many Jamaican managers and supervisors who, in most instances, actually earn a lot better than (those in) a lot of the established industries. It is something that is not known and there are still community leaders who speak glibly of the 'low-paying sweatshop' activity, which is not true of the BPO sector,” he stated.

Dr Chang argued that the success stories emerging from communities across Montego Bay “speak to the socio-economic impact that employment (in the BPO sector) has had on families.”

He added that many Jamaicans are already experiencing a diverse range of jobs in accounts, legal services, human resources and information technology through work secured in the industry.

Against this background, Dr Chang contended that BPO is “the way of doing business” in the contemporary world, adding that Jamaica will have to be “a part of that process”, in order to establish and maintain a dynamic economy.

Consequently, he said, Jamaica will have to train more people so as to “create the human resources that can participate at all levels.”

The minister also noted that with the expansion of Kinston Wharves Limited and the Port of Kingston, the Government anticipates that even more diverse fields will be engaged in the sector.

“All told, the provision of reliable, safe and financially rewarding opportunities that this sector (can generate) for our youth cannot be understated. Furthermore, an industry that currently pumps upwards of US$323 million per year into the Jamaican economy represents a significant driver of economic growth,” he added.

In this regard, Chang said not only is there need to engage young professionals and demonstrate to them what opportunities exist, but stakeholders must repeatedly emphasize that BPO is the way of the world today and that developing the industry islandwide “is part of linking Jamaica with the international economic infrastructure (and) critical if we are going to have (higher levels of) sustainable growth.”

The minister, in welcoming Concentrix to Montego Bay, said with the firm's occupation of 40,000 square feet and plans to employ upwards of 800 employees, the company has “firmly established itself as a serious partner in economic growth and job creation.”

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