Fri | Sep 29, 2023

New BPO centre in Manchester to create more jobs

Published:Saturday | June 4, 2022 | 12:06 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Economic activity in the parish of Manchester is expected to gain momentum in the coming months following the completion of the newest business process outsourcing (BPO) centre in Bloomfield, Mandeville, which is set to generate several job opportunities for the central region.

Adding to approximately five existing BPO centres in the parish capital, the K & T Development BPO Complex, the brainchild of local businessman Kenneth Black, will be constructed at a cost of $1.2 billion over the next 18 months.

As the need for jobs increases, Managing Director of K & T Development Patrick Crawford indicated that the global services sector is a thriving industry in developing nations that readily provide an opportunity for international investment and sustainable income for eligible unemployed individuals.

The building, according to Crawford, will feature four floors that occupy 80,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet of parking space.

Financed by the Development Bank of Jamaica and the National Commercial Bank, the facility for which construction began in May is also expected to house a café and a daycare centre, among other amenities.

“We see this as an important part of the greater effort to develop and connect communities through strategic infrastructure investment and as a major step in stimulating the next level or economic development in Mandeville and by extension, Jamaica.” he said

As the completion of the Williamsfield to May Pen leg of Highway 2000 is expected to spur development in the central parish, Member of Parliament of Manchester Central Rhoda Crawford is calling on persons to stand ready to take advantage of the anticipated opportunities.

“If we are serious about moving Jamaica forward and allowing Jamaica to realise her truest potential, that the private sector must remain purposeful… The BPO sector continues to grow and we expect it to continue along that same path in next few years and Mandeville will a part of that growth.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who delivered the main address, said there are approximately 54, 000 persons employed in the BPO sector, 6,000 more than the numbers that existed in the pre-pandemic phase.

He added that the industry currently occupies more than two million square feet of space across Jamaica, but will occupy an additional 300,000 square feet of building space this year.

“The industry is no longer a call-centre industry only… It now involves the knowledge industry and Jamaica is well-placed to be in the knowledge-service industry. It involves quite a bit of back office operations in accounting, reviewing legal and medical documents… There are the high-value services of programming and coding, data mining and data operations.”

With a long-term expectation of employing up to 300,000 individuals, in the sector, Holness indicated that focus will also be placed on attracting young people who are detached and prone to engaging in criminal activities in an effort to effect change through resocialisation.

He encouraged the support of investors who continue to build Jamaica and sought to remind persons of the opportunities available for all Jamaicans.

“There is a level playing field for all business people… It really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other who you are, where you come from and what is your affiliation. If you are coming to invest, talk to me; (if) you are coming to build brand Jamaica, talk to me… .”