News : Businessman Mulls Importing Multilingual Workers
Jan 17, 2014 -- Frustrated by his numerous failed attempts to recruit multilingual workers, businessman Davon Crump, the chief executive officer of Global Outsourcing Solutions Limited, says he might be forced to look outside of Jamaica for workers so as not to lose some potentially lucrative contracts to areas such as Latin America.
Crump, whose Montego Bay-based 200-seat call-centre operation serves some 11 firms, is of the view that with the scarcity of jobs globally, the Jamaican Government must be proactive in preparing its citizens for the world of work.
"We have been seeking to fill these vacancies, which came about during negotiations with prospective clients, but to no avail," said Crump, who is the immediate past president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
"These firms are demanding that agents representing their brand be able to speak more than conversational Spanish or French, but it's disappointing that our efforts to recruit such workers locally have not worked out," said Crump. "We might have to look elsewhere for individuals with the requisite skills, or risk losing these contracts to other countries.
"We are falling behind the Latin American countries, who have invested in teaching English to their labour force, and this now gives them a huge advantage in the outsourcing market," continued Crump. "Jamaica needs to follow their lead and teach other languages for more than conversation."
According to Yoni Epstein, president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), who signed an agreement with HEART Trust/NTA last June to train persons in information and communications technology (ICT), multilingual workers would put Jamaica at a significant advantage in the region.
"With our facilities, if we can provide the required skills, it would put Jamaica at a significant advantage," said Epstein, who is also CEO of Island Outsourcers Limited, which recently opened a 60-seater facility in The Bahamas.
"We are in a very competitive market and we must move to address this; we cannot take this for granted," stated Epstein.
Initially, the local ICT sector, which currently employs about 14,000 workers, was projected to grow by 25 per cent per annum, which would result in the call centres recruiting about 2,500 to 3,000 workers per year to keep meeting expected demand. However, there are concerns that with Jamaica unable to supply the skilled workers, international firms will start looking towards India, the Philippines, or Latin America.
"A reliable labour pool is crucial to attracting ICT capital," Epstein told The Gleaner. "We have been in discussion with HEART Trust/NTA to raise the proposed Level One training (which is just for conversation) to Level Two, which would see workers being able to engage in discussions."
However, based on the current situation, Crump might be forced to go the route of the Spanish hotels, which have been importing labour in the area of linguistics.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Global Outsourcing Solutions Ltd:
Global Outsourcing Solutions Ltd Inc. is a Jamaican corporation that has handled different inbound and outbound accounts of companies worldwide. Global Outsourcing Solutions Ltd Inc. provides cost-effective solutions on both business to business (B2B) and business to client (B2C) services. From its foundation to present Global Outsourcing Solutions Ltd has remained in the forefront in maintaining balance and managing the endeavors of the competitive industry. Operating at the heart of one of the metropolitan cities in the Jamaica, the company continues to grow and develop with innovative strategies to serve their diverse clientele.
Published: Monday, January 20, 2014