BPO sector significantly reducing unemployment

Observer West reporter

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Recently re-elected president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) Gloria Henry, is claiming that the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has significantly contributed to the record reduction in unemployment in Jamaica.

“BPO is really what is contributing to the job opportunities out there,” Henry stressed of the industry which currently employs in excess of 26,000 workers.

Henry also made reference to the recent announcement made by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness that Jamaica's unemployment rate had declined to a record low 9.6 per cent as at the end of January 2018, down from the 10.4 per cent for the October to December 2017 quarter.

The figure is an improvement on the 9.8 per cent recorded in the October to December 2007 quarter.

But, despite the creation of numerous employment opportunities, Henry bemoaned that there is still a perception that the sector merely offers low- income jobs.

For instance, she noted that during a recent principals' association meeting, where she was a guest speaker, she was taken aback “when some school principals told me that they are telling their students not to take jobs in the BPO sector because they are low paying and low-end jobs”.

“So, we have a lot of work to do, ladies and gentlemen, to continue to educate. We have to go into the schools and really start to influence there. Because if the principals are speaking at that level, then you know we are in trouble, and that is perhaps why when you run your job fairs the responses are so poor,” Henry argued.

Henry then announced that in a move to counteract the strongly held misconception in some quarters, the BPIAJ will “be looking at adopting a school, [as] that to me, will help to educate the schools”.

She was speaking at the fifth BPIAJ annual general meeting held at the Cascade Room of the Pelican Restaurant recently, where she was returned as president of the BPIAJ unopposed.

She expressed her gratitude to the members of the association for entrusting her with the responsibility to lead the organisation for a second term.

Henry is also a former president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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