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Growth & Jobs | Global project to help close skills gap – Straw

Published:Tuesday | September 3, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Programme Director, Skills Development for the Global Services Sector Project, JAMPRO, Marjorie Straw.

Marjorie Straw, programme director, skills development for the Global Services Sector (GSS) Project, has said the initiative will play a significant role in closing the skills gap for the global digital services.

Straw, who operates out of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), said the project will also help Jamaica to compete at the next level into the higher value-added segments beyond business process outsourcing (BPO).

The five-year project, being financed through an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan support of US$15 million, is focused on upskilling and preparing persons working in the sector for higher-end jobs in areas such as information technology-enabled services, knowledge process outsourcing, and legal process outsourcing.

increase in employment

Straw explained that the project will strengthen the skills development framework and is intended to increase employment within the outsourcing sector from 36,000 to 50,000 by 2023.

“The project will focus on two areas, with component one looking at strengthening the skills development framework so that there is a consistent set of skilled workers; and component two will look at all that is required within the ecosystem to ensure that the sector can be competitive, locally and internationally,” the programme director said.

She explained that component one, valued at an estimated US$7.9 million, includes the enhancement of HEART Trust/NTA’s job-readiness curricula to align training to GSS entry-level standards; and a train-the-trainer programme, targeting 1,000 persons, to deliver the curricula.

“The project will provide support for training through the Competitiveness Fund Programme and has established a Global Services Skills Board (GSSB) to monitor and, ultimately, endorse all training and major initiatives for the industry,” Straw informed.

She added that the GSS will also identify skills needed, set standards, chart career pathways and support the implementation and design of a talent platform.

The board will also have an advisory role to the project, ensuring that training is demand-driven and that there is efficient job placement and an increase in employability ratio.

“Component two will be driven mainly by Jamaica Promotions Corporation and will look at the value proposition for the country and how we reposition the country to be more competitive in the higher value-added segments,” Straw said.