Government is targeting the build-out of approximately one million square feet of space over the next three to five years, in an effort to attain its goal of doubling the size of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in Jamaica.
This was revealed by Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton recently, while speaking at the grand inauguration of the United States-based Sutherland Global Services located on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Mr. Hylton informed that to this end, funds from the US$20 million loan facility established by the Ministry, in partnership with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), have been disbursed to developers for the construction of purpose-built ICT/BPO space.
The funds, he said, are currently being utilised across various projects, to create a total of 200,000 square feet of space, which will come on stream over the next 12 to 18 months.
The most recent of which is the planned development of a 50,000 square-foot facility in Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay, St. James.
“This represents but a small fraction of the 800,000 square feet earmarked for development at the Tech Park. Rest assured that the Ministry will continue to work assiduously with the DBJ, to put more funds in place, to accelerate the build-out of additional ICT-ready space,” he said.
Additionally, Factories Corporation of Jamaica will be building out an additional 750,000 square feet of space at the planned ICT Tech Park at Naggo’s Head in Portmore, St. Catherine, beginning in the first quarter of next year.
Mr. Hylton said developing the country’s talented young people to move up the value chain is also a priority of the Ministry, noting that he has been working with the HEART Trust/NTA to customize training initiatives, which will be delivered through its institutions, as well as the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) for secondary school graduates, and the recently launched Apprenticeship Programme, under the charge of the Ministry of Education.
He noted that what all this demonstrates is that Jamaica is ready to embrace the global outsourcing industry, pointing out that the Ministry is very clear about it development vision for the knowledge services sector.
“We are in full execution mode to develop and grow this sector, in keeping with our mandate and the growth agenda,” he stated.