Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Managers wanted - JAMPRO head says local BPO sector needs more mid-level personnel

Published:Saturday | April 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
From left: Senator Aubyn Hill, executive director of the Economic Growth Council; Marlene Malahoo Forte, attorney general; Stephen Price, managing director of FLOW Jamaica; and Diane Edwards, president of Jamaica Promotions Limited, speak before the start of the inaugural Outsource2Jamaica conference in Montego Bay on Thursday. The two-day event is hosted by the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica. The event's theme, Innovation Through Digital Transformation, was explored through presentations by government representatives and international industry stakeholders.

Western Bureau:

Diane Edwards, president of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has pointed to the lack of trained personnel to fill slots in middle and upper management as a major threat to the continued growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

"What we are certainly hearing from within the industry is that we need to train middle-management and upper-management personnel a lot more," Edwards said yesterday, while addressing a plenary session at the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica's inaugural Symposium and Exposition at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

She continued, "Most companies do not really want to bring their supervisory level and their management level into Jamaica; they want home-grown people, because it would be less costly for them. So, the biggest threat to us right now will be on the human talent side."

The two-day event, which was designed to draw attention to the vast potential of the BPO and related industries, was staged under the theme 'Innovation through Digital Transformation'.

Speaking subsequently to The Gleaner, Edwards was unequivocal that the largest single threat to the local BPO industry was the need to get locals into management positions.

"We will have to get our male and female personnel into management programmes," said Edwards, noting that the HEART Trust-NTA had started to provide training in supervisory management, which will complement those being carried out at the universities and community colleges across the island.

Edwards further noted that the training for personnel in that area must be accelerated so that the value chain within the industry can be accessed by Jamaicans.

"We must start to look at how fast can we train and graduate the numbers of people that the industry really require. How fast (for example) can we train software engineers, so we can climb that value chain?" questioned Edwards.