A business process outsourcing (BPO) complex will be developed in Portmore, St Catherine at a cost of J$3.5 billion, providing up to 4,500 jobs for Jamaicans.
Ground for the new facility named GTECH Park, and being developed by Portmore Holdings, was broken by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in Cooks Pen in the parish yesterday.
The structure will comprise three multi-level buildings of up to 240,000 square feet total and employing thousands.
BPO is a strategic growth sector for Jamaica– Prime Minister Andrew Holness
With construction set to begin immediately, the complex, which is being built by Strength Construction, is scheduled for completion within the next 18 months.
Additionally, the facility will have over 300 parking spaces, an outdoor/rooftop space, kitchenette, elevator and a gym.
For his part, Holness said the Government continues to put emphasis on the BPO sector and its development, adding that it is a “strategic growth sector for Jamaica”.
“We are very happy to support this industry because it brings in employment and some amount of foreign exchange…Employment in BPO is rapidly increasing. Since May 2017 the sector has doubled, moving from 17,500 employees to now just about 36,000 employees. Within a few years, we could see employment in this sector possibly exceed 100,000 persons,” Holness said.
What’s more, he said the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has approved more than US$73.9 million in loans to the sector to date and is seeking another US$40 million from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service “to continue to enable the sector to grow”.
The Government is committed to rapidly increasing training, so that operators can readily find labour to occupy the BPO spaces, he said.
“I have called on the Heart Trust/NTA and other stakeholders in the BPO sector to intensify their training efforts at all levels, so that we can meet the needs of the global information technology-enabled service industry. The community colleges, the universities now offer courses that will prepare young Jamaicans to work their way up in the BPO industry and assume top management positions.”