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More Space For BPO Operations

More Space For BPO Operations
Employees at one of several Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) entities operating out of the Montego Bay Free Zone. (File photo)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Work is under way by the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Factories Corporation to construct more than 250,000 square feet of new purpose-built space and to retrofit an additional 50,000 square feet of existing buildings for outsourcing service. This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness, during his contribution to the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 21. He informed that in February 2016, the building space available to the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector was 800,000 square feet, located in Montego Bay and Kingston primarily, with some emerging developments in Mandeville. He said this space was occupied by 44 companies that employed 18,500 persons. “In the last year, the available space has grown by 65 per cent to 1.3 million square feet. The number of firms has grown to 50 and the employment has expanded to over 22,000 employees, a creation of just under 5,000 jobs,” the Prime Minister noted.

“In addition to the six new entrants employing 600 employees, the existing companies have expanded employment by over 4,000. These companies include Hinduja Global Services, ITEP BPO Smart Services, IBEX Jamaica, Advanced Call Center Technologies, Xerox/Conduent, Nearshore Inbound Call Experts and Sutherland Global,” he added.

Mr. Holness said approximately 800,000 square feet of space are under construction by the private sector across the country, including Stanley Motta, constructing more than 250,000 square feet of new and retrofitted space in Half-Way Tree; GraceKennedy retrofitting over 60,000 square feet in downtown Kingston; and Ferry BPO constructing 50,000 square feet in St Catherine.

Also, in St. James, Barnett Tech Park is adding 100,000 square feet in new facilities, and Bioprist is adding 150,000 square feet. Mr. Holness said Bioprist is scheduled to add another 150,000 square feet in Hanover, with Global Centralised Access adding 20,000 square feet in Clarendon.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the private sector is now playing a role in improving purpose-built facilities for outsourcing services and the geographic spread of the facilities across the country.

“Within a year from today, the space available in BPO will have almost increased from 800,000 square feet in February 2016 to 2.4 million square feet, an increase of 200 per cent or 1.6 million square feet. We expect this space to create, conservatively, 20,000 additional jobs or a total of just under 25,000 jobs since February 2016,” he added.