Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has welcomed Sutherland Global Services to Jamaica’s shores, noting that the investment by the United States-based company is a bold declaration that the country is ready for business on a global scale.
Speaking at the grand inauguration of the business process outsourcing (BPO) company on December 4, held at its location on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mrs. Simpson Miller said the investment is in keeping with Government’s priority objective of human capital development.
“My Government remains committed and convinced that the Jamaican people, primarily our youth, must be the basis and the platform upon which we achieve sustained wealth creation,” she stated.
The company, which commenced operations in Jamaica in November 2012, currently employs more than 700 UWI students, who are a part of the school’s work/study programme.
“This is a win, win for all concerned,” the Prime Minister said. “For the UWI, it gets the chance to provide practical, professional work experience for its students, thereby contributing to their holistic development. For the student workers, they get to earn an income under flexible working conditions without jeopardising their study and for the investor, they get to benefit from the crème of Jamaica’s educated, human capital.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller informed that a major component of Jamaica’s attraction to Sutherland Global is that the company’s business model is closely aligned with the values and beliefs of her administration.
She pointed out that the core of the company’s ‘Earn Where You Learn’ model reflects “a deep and abiding respect and care for people, which is in keeping with my belief in people no matter the circumstance of birth”.
She said it was this value that inspired the idea of locating the business offices at the UWI campus, and with it, the opportunity for hundreds of students to earn while they study.
“It is in this vein that we see this game changing investment for Jamaica, which we expect will rapidly expand beyond the borders of this university to become, over time, a household name in Jamaica,” she remarked.
The Prime Minister added, “I think it is remarkable that well within two years we could have landed and established this important investment for our country.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller said she is confident that the investment will succeed, because Jamaica is blessed with an abundance of talented, culturally adaptable and knowledgeable workers.
She also pointed out that the Sutherland Global investment is one of the first steps in achieving the Government’s vision of creating a regional hub for knowledge services.
For his part, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the investment highlights that Jamaica is ready to embrace the global outsourcing industry and other major players like Sutherland Global.
“(This investment) has brought superior value to the Jamaican investment landscape, both in terms of the exceptional quality of service that is being delivered to a well-heeled clientele, and in terms of the excellent working conditions for the many student-workers, who are deriving world-class training and work experience,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards said the agency is committed to realising its vision of transforming Jamaica into a regional hub for information communication technology (ICT) investment.
Ms. Edwards noted that JAMPRO has received a mandate to double the BPO sector by 2016, pointing out that this is a challenge the agency has gladly accepted.
“Attracting high quality firms like Sutherland Global to invest in Jamaica has been key to our efforts to deliver on that mandate and to generate more jobs, especially for our talented young people,” she remarked.
Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Sutherland Global Services is one of the world’s largest independent BPO companies with some 35 centres and business operations in 14 countries worldwide.
Its partnership with the UWI, Mona, which is based on its ‘Earn Where You Learn’ model, has been integral in ensuring that students, who normally would not have an opportunity to pay for tuition, have an opportunity to do so and complete their tertiary education.
Published Date: December 6th, 2013