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Records Office relocation affecting BPO job prospects, says PNP

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition Spokesman on Science, Technology and Information, Julian Robinson, today warned that thousands of jobs for young Jamaicans are at risk, as employers in the Business Process Outsourcing sector have not been able to get police record reports to clear potential employees as a basis for hiring them.

Robinson pointed to the abrupt closure of the Criminal Records Office (CRO) on September 19 due to health concerns as the genesis of the problem.

The CRO resumed services at a new temporary location at 6-8 Orange Street in downtown Kingston.

"Even though the office has reopened there is such a large backlog that hundreds of potential employees cannot be confirmed in their positions," said Robinson.

The Opposition noted that people who need reports for travel, the courts or other security verification are also affected.

According to the Opposition, Jamaica's reputation as a place to do business is taking a negative hit and some of these jobs may be lost permanently, as without the confidence that their employees do not have criminal records, employers will shift the jobs to other locations.

 Describing the situation as “the CRO crisis”, the Opposition said it has come at a time when employers are ramping up hiring for their peak season.

“We must have a plan to correct this issue and ensure it never happens again. The CRO generates some $800 million in revenue annually, and we must invest more of that to upgrade the capacity of the office. We need to look at off-site fingerprinting at divisional headquarters, a permanent office in Montego Bay, and systems that make it easier for citizens and businesses to get their police reports," Robinson said.

The Opposition said it is calling on the Ministers of National Security and Technology to urgently address this critical issue to safeguard the jobs of Jamaicans.


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