The BPO workforce in Jamaica has nearly doubled in the past five years, due to increasing investment in the sector.
Available talent has increased to 22,000 from 12,000 in 2011, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness expecting the figure to reach 30,000 over the next four years, according to Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.
In 2012, the island’s BPO industry received barely $230 million in investment, but three years later in 2015, the figure increased to $400 million.
Analysts say the government’s pro-business policies – such as construction of free zones, tax breaks, and BPO training programs – are bearing fruit. No doubt Jamaica has made it a priority to groom its call center industry to its full potential.
Three months ago, Prime Minister Holness broke ground for the construction of a new office complex for outsourcing firms in the Montego Bay Free Zone. Weeks ago, he amended the country’s Special Economic Zone Act to make it far more easy for foreign firms to set up office in the island.
In a surprising move last year, the government vacated the historical Central Sorting Office in capital Kingston to make space for foreign call center firms. In Montego Bay, real estate firm Mark Kerr-Jarrett is building another tech park specifically for BPO companies. Meanwhile, Avasant Foundation, a unit of management consulting firm Avasant, is training hundreds of people in the island in BPO services.
Today more than 40 BPO/ICT firms are reportedly operating in the country. Some of them have gone on expanding, creating more jobs for the local residents. IBEX Global, which recently opened a new office with 10,000 square feet of space, is running about three call centers in the country and hoping to increase its headcount to 5,000 over the next few years.