The Jamaican Government is reporting a healthy recovery of jobs in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
A total of 3,300 employees have regained their jobs, lost earlier because of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, “The sector lost approximately US$42 million in revenue due to the COVID restrictions. Following the increase in cases due to an outbreak, a decision was taken to close all call centers on April 22, 2020. Despite this, we managed to retain more than 33,000 workers in the sector and are moving to see how best we can retrieve [the] jobs [that were lost] due to the measures imposed to curb the spread of the virus.”
Mr. Vaz further pointed out that in aiding the recovery of the sector, the Government has already extended the work-from-home arrangements for approximately 40 percent of the call center agents for three months, which will end on August 31, 2020.
He is also hopeful that the remaining 3,700 jobs that were lost can be recovered by the end of the financial year.
Additionally, Mr. Vaz said it is anticipated that the sector will rebound by the end of the 2021 fiscal year, “with a move towards the original projection of 50,000 jobs by March 2022”.
“The Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) has noted, however, that growth will be contingent upon the recovery of the United States, which is our main market. There is a proposal for about 20 to 30 percent of the Global Services Sector (GSS) workforce to be supported in a virtual Special Economic Zone,” the Minister noted.
“A specific proposal is expected to be advanced by the Association for this development, and the Government remains open to these discussions with a view to coming up with an agreed position,” he said.
Marcia Wright, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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