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BPO sector gets a second incubator at MBFZ ... a 300-seat facility at a cost of approximately US$600,000

Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2016 | 12:00 AMMark Titus

Western Bureau:

The Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) sector is set to get yet another boost in its bid to realise the projected 30,000 jobs by 2020 with the construction of its second incubator at the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ).

The project, a partnership between the Gloria Henry-led MBFZ, the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) and telecommunications giant FLOW, will see the establishment of a 15,000-square foot, 300-seat facility at a cost of approximately US$600,000.

This ambitious initiative comes on the heels of the successful creation of the sector's first business incubator, which was established at the MBFZ in 2014.

"I am very excited about this new project because it brings in more jobs for the region and is a great boost for the services industry," said Henry, who is assistant vice-president of operations at the MBFZ. "This is a huge opportunity for the investing community, and already there is a lot of interest from prospective clients."

The first initiative, which consists of 200 seats, is a collaboration among Compete Caribbean, the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), the MBFZ and Columbus Business Solutions, and has been hailed as a huge success as it has an enabling platform for BPO entrants by its clients.

The 10,000-square-foot open space is outfitted with the latest in state-of-the-art equipment.

"We were very happy with the first project and the level of job creation that is involved, and so we had no hesitation in being involved in this second phase," said Tanikie McClarthy, director of Government (Caribbean) at FLOW.

"We are looking forward to playing our part in the continuous growth of this very important sector."

The BPO/ICT industry is the fastest-growing sector in Jamaica and is considered one of the vehicles to transform the country's employment landscape and grow the economy.