On the Corner with EPOC | Cassia Park resident welcomes BPOs
The ongoing growth in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector across the island is being welcomed by a long-time resident of Cassia Park in St Andrew, who sees this as a possible solution to the high unemployment rate of Jamaica's youngsters.
Forty-two-year-old Carla Lalor-Ebanks called for even more call centres and BPO facilities when Gleaner On the Corner with the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) made its latest stop at Dollaz Fi Dollaz Chill Spot along Red Hills Road last Thursday.
"Imagine how many thousands of youths would be home right now if there were no call centres," said Lalor-Ebanks.
"So, I don't understand a lot of the criticism that is directed at call centres because they save a lot of lives, young lives that could be occupied elsewhere in wrongdoing or so.
"As a youth leave school with one, two, three, or even no subjects, him can get a call centre work to earn some money and put food on the table because they take you and train you on the job. So, I am in agreement with the call centres and want to see more," added Lalor-Ebanks.
Responding to critics who argue that the BPOs offer low-paying jobs, Lalor-Ebanks underscored that the wages are much more attractive than the current minimum wage of $7,000 per week.
"That's $28,000 a month and call centre work a pay a new recruit, fresh out of school with no experience all $50,000 or $60,000 a month. Think about it. In addition to that, enough jobs aren't being created for youths who are qualified to even have a lot of options," she declared.
Lalor-Ebanks further argued that rural Jamaica was most in need of call centres as youths from the those communities are hard-pressed for job options.
"We have 14 parishes, but you would think is two because as somebody want a work is either Kingston or St Andrew them come. What about Trelawny and Westmoreland?" she questioned.
"I'd love to see some call centres there so people, youths especially, don't have to always migrate from country to Kingston to find a livelihood," asserted Lalor-Ebanks.
It is estimated that some 36,000 persons are employed in BPO operations islandwide.