Jamaica Begins Building 49 More IT Training Centers

Jamaica has begun building another 49 IT skill training centers, with Prime Minister Simpson Miller urging youths to take part in the country’s “information technology revolution.” The Caribbean …

"IT can transform lives," says Jamaican Prime Minister Simpson Miller

Jamaica has begun building another 49 IT skill training centers, with Prime Minister Simpson Miller urging youths to take part in the country’s “information technology revolution.”

The Caribbean country, which sees the ICT sector as a means of lowering the high rate of unemployment, is already home to about 182 centers where information technology is taught.

According to a government statement, nearly 150 applications from technology schools to launch new centers are currently awaiting approval.

Upon inaugurating the Caribbean Palm Estate IT center last week, Miller vowed that she would do everything in her power to extend broadband access to every citizen across the country.

“IT can transform your lives and move people out of economic difficulties toward economic well-being. If you know how to use the computer, you are better able to get a job and to do well in that job or you can use it to create your own job,” she remarked. “You can learn graphic design and all sorts of other design skills, becoming a part of the creative economy.”

Miller noted that other initiatives, such as the US$20 million Government of Jamaica (GoJ)/World Bank-funded ‘Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries’ project, and the Start-up Jamaica accelerator project, are designed to generate self-employment and empower young people to access well paying jobs.

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Over the past five years, the Caribbean country has been equipping its citizens with a wide verity of IT skills, from basic computer operation to software development, programming and animation.

These efforts have already born fruit. Today the call center industry alone employs about 15,000 people and the government expects the ICT sector to generate another 10,000 jobs over the next couple of years.

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