World Bank leading charge to show Jamaicans the many employment opportunities available in the digital world
Sonya Lemord, Gleaner Intern
The World Bank is teaming up with the Government to open up the virtual world to Jamaicans with millions of dollars to be made.
The initiative is not to allow Jamaicans to contact old friends on Facebook, or to send tweets on Twitter, instead it is to introduce persons, particularly young Jamaicans, to the several employment possibilities on the World Wide Web.
"You (Jamaicans) have got a huge problem. A lot of people are unemployed or underemployed. Against the backdrop of this you have the virtual global economy - online. It's a new market it's something that is happening as we speak. There are tons of employment opportunities online and this is not very well known," Fabio Pittaluga, senior social development specialist at the World Bank told The Sunday Gleaner.
He said the the World Bank is collaborating with the Government and local private sector operators in the information, communications and technology (ICT) sector and will be organising a three-day development and marketplace event in Kingston to introduce Jamaicans to the many moneymaking possibilities available on the Internet.
Dubbed 'Digital Jamaica 2.0', the event will be staged from June 28 to 30 at the Jamaica Conference Centre and will showcase the many opportunities that are available in a global virtual economy.
good opportunities for Jamaicans
"These are good opportunities for Jamaicans because it doesn't matter where you sit anymore. Because it's global, because it's virtual, you could be here and doing work for a client in Singapore, you can be doing work for a client in the Philippines, or in Grenada," said Pittaluga.
He said only an interest in technology and a desire to earn your own cash in a straightforward virtual economy are required to be a part Digital Jam 2.0.
Several international companies will be attending the workshop, which will include job fairs, seminars, presentations, and short training workshops.
According to Pittaluga, the creative talent displayed by Jamaicans makes the country an in-demand area for international companies looking for the creation of creative digital content.
Trendsetters in the international digital community including companies such as Freelancer out of Australia, Mobile Works, Micro Workers and Samasource, out of the United States, will be in Jamaica showing off the possibilities that are available.
Several top American technology companies will be setting up shop to allow Jamaicans to establish a professional profile on their platforms and to interact with potential clients.
"Say you are a designer and you're looking for work, you upload your profile and you become visible to the community of people who can use the work of a designer," explained Pittaluga.
He emphasised that Digital Jam 2.0 is not restricted to persons trained or certified in computer technology.
Pittaluga noted that job opportunities would range from mobile application development, software development, translating online content to database management.
"Many of the people who do the most interesting software development are people who have not come out of universities. They are people who have learnt by themselves."
While Digital Jam 2.0 will take place starting Tuesday, the work has already started with several web-based competitions now ongoing.
An app contest is already ongoing, and the World Bank is prepared to provide incubators for the winners, who will have their product on display in London during the Olympic Games.
"This is not a tech camp, this it is not something for 'techies'. The message is: the future of work is online and that it is not limited to people who do the more technical parts," said Pittaluga.
It is projected that between three and five thousand young people will attend Digital Jam 2.0 to interact with companies, obtain information, drop off CVs, and receive career advice.