To support the development of the BPO industry in Jamaica, the Avasant Foundation and partners are scaling up the Avasant Youth Digital Employment Initiative. The aim of the new programme is to train between 500 and 800 high potential youth to participate in the country's BPO sector, which aims to add 30,000 jobs by 2020.
Jamaica is implementing a strategy to become a nearshore location for the IT and Business Process (BPO) industry. The sector has seen steady growth in recent years, up 15% annually. To further support the industry’s growth, and to help reduce Jamaica’s severe youth unemployment rate of about 26%, the Avasant Youth Digital Employment Initiative was launched in 2015.
The initiative is the brainchild of the Avasant Foundation, the charity arm of global management consulting and outsourcing advisory firm Avasant, and Xerox. The six-week programme aimed to support 30 youth, primarily disadvantaged but high potential youth, to gain the professional skills necessary for a career in ICT-enabled work. The programme has thus far trained a total of 123 youth in Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica. More than half of whom have already secure positions at partner organisations, with most of the rest in the onboarding or interview stage.
As part of the development of the wider BPO industry in Jamaica, the Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO) aims to create around 30,000 jobs in the Jamaican Business Process industry by 2020. To support JAMPRO fill the positions, the Avasant Foundation, and its partners such as Jamaica's University of Technology*, are scaling up the training programme, under the FUTURE JAMAICA banner. The programme will equip between 500 and 800 people with the ICT skills necessary to work in the country’s growing BPO sector – among others.
Chitra Rajeshwari, Executive Director of Avasant Foundations, remarks, “I am extremely proud of all 123 students who have graduated through our skills training program and are already working or soon to be employed in the contact center industry. Now they can look ahead to a brighter future. I am very grateful to the BPO industry who believed in our program and our youth.”
Professor Rosalea Hamilton who leads UTech’s Community Service and Development Division reflects, “This Avasant Foundation initiative addresses the needs of our communities, especially our at-risk young women who need help to pursue opportunities to create income now and into the future.”
* Additional partners to the Avasant Foundation include the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), Xerox Corporation, Teens for Technology, Hinduja Global Solutions, Sutherland Global Services and Global Gateway Solutions.