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HEART signs employment agreement with Sutherland Global

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The HEART Trust/NTA signed a training subsidiary agreement with Sutherland Global yesterday that will allow nearly 3,000 unattached youths to intern in the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) sector.

According to a release today, the agreement, signed at the Head Corporate Office of the HEART Trust in Kingston, falls under the Government's flagship training and apprenticeship programme, Housing Opportunity Production and Employment (HOPE), which targets unattached youth aged 18 -24, who are not in school or are unemployed.

“We believe that this initiative will yield some employment opportunities and have a big impact on reducing the employment rate of our youth in the country”, Senior Director of Corporate Planning and Strategic Development at HEART, Nicole Manning was quoted as saying.

“This partnership is good for us. It not only allows us to focus on the youth but also those that are “unattached” and would not otherwise be engaged.”

Sutherland Global is one of 15 BPO firms currently being engaged by the Trust to train around 3000 youths, with each firm accepting 200 individuals. HEART has already partnered with four other BPO firms: Itelbpo, Centrefield, IBEX Global and Concentrix (CNX), the release shared.
Under the agreement, HEART said it will subsidise the students in the programme while the BPO firms will assist in proving work experience and training.

“This model has the potential to make it much easier for the BPO sector to grow while still being sustainable. I believe HEART will be patient enough to tap into a pool of individuals that are sometimes overlooked because the industry is moving quickly and overhead cost is of the essence”, said Vice President and Country Head for Sutherland Global, Odetta Rockhead-Kerr.

“This agreement is concretizing the confidence and commitment in the industry. I think partnerships like this are required because we have some very aggressive goals for the company and the industry. The only way for us to achieve them is by identifying a partner that will not just comb the job market but develop the skills and prepare them so that we can absorb them at a faster pace,” said Rockhead-Kerr.

The BPO sector is one of the key industries identified by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) with the potential to drive economic growth in the island.

“We try to facilitate agreements like this to grow investment. In the BPO sector, this type of agreement is an additional financial incentive for companies while improving our competitiveness as a country to attract and retain these investments”, said Roger Williams, National Outsourcing Coordinator at JAMPRO.

As Jamaica's Human capital development agency, HEART plans to train and certify 11,000 persons for the BPO sector annually over the next three years, for a total of approximately 33,000 BPO-trained graduates by 2020, the release said.