New BPO complex to create 4,500 jobs

 Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) breaks ground for the $3.5-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) complex, GTECH Park, in Cookspen, Portmore, on Thursday. Others (from left) are Executive Director of the Economic Growth Council, Senator Aubyn Hill; State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and Member of Parliament for East Central St Catherine, Alando Terrelonge; CEO of Strength Construction Limited, Carelene Bailey; CEO, Portmore Holdings, Gordon Tewani; Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips; and Mayor of Portmore, Councillor Leon Thomas. (Photo: JIS)
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) breaks ground for the $3.5-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) complex, GTECH Park, in Cookspen, Portmore, on Thursday. Others (from left) are Executive Director of the Economic Growth Council, Senator Aubyn Hill; State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and Member of Parliament for East Central St Catherine, Alando Terrelonge; CEO of Strength Construction Limited, Carelene Bailey; CEO, Portmore Holdings, Gordon Tewani; Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips; and Mayor of Portmore, Councillor Leon Thomas. (Photo: JIS)

Up to 4,500 additional jobs will be created for Jamaicans through the construction of GTECH Park, a new business process outsourcing (BPO) complex in Portmore, St Catherine.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness broke ground for the facility located at lot #2 in Cooks Pen on Thursday, October 24.

Three multilevel buildings

The complex will comprise three multilevel buildings, which can accommodate a total of 240,000 square feet of BPO operations, employing 1,500 persons per building and up to 4,500 in total on a shift system.

The Prime Minister welcomed this newest addition to the island’s growing BPO sector, which represents a $3.5-billion investment by developer Portmore Holdings.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) exchanges pleasantries with Chief Executive Officer, Portmore Holdings, Gordon Tewani, at the ceremony to break ground for the $3.5-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) complex, GTECH Park, in Portmore on Thursday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) exchanges pleasantries with Chief Executive Officer, Portmore Holdings, Gordon Tewani, at the ceremony to break ground for the $3.5-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) complex, GTECH Park, in Portmore on Thursday.

Significant investment

Holness praised the entity’s Chief Executive Officer, Gordon Tewani, “for having the faith in Jamaica to… make that significant investment”.

He noted that the Government is continuing to put measures in place to ensure the continued development of the BPO industry, which, he said, is a “strategic growth sector for Jamaica”.

“We are very happy to support this industry because it brings in employment and some amount of foreign exchange… Employment in BPO is rapidly increasing. Since May 2017, [employment in] the sector has doubled, moving from 17,500 employees to now just about 36,000 employees. Within a few years, we could see employment in this sector possibly exceed 100,000 persons,” he said.

He said that the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), has, to date, approved more than US$73.9 million in loans to the sector and is seeking another US$40 million from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service “to continue to enable the sector to grow”.

“That will, from our estimates, mobilise another 13,000 jobs in the industry,” he said.