Jamaica is the 3rd largest Caribbean island with a population of 2.7 million and an English-speaking labour force of 1.29 million. What becomes obvious after any tour of Jamaica is that the dedication and work ethic of Jamaicans far surpasses many other countries – the workforce is polished and professional with excellent communication skills. Furthermore with a booming tourism industry for the last 50+ years hospitality and customer service has become second nature to the labour force.
Jamaica has had a relationship with the UK since colonial times and as you might imagine the two countries cultures are inevitably closely entwined. For example, Jamaica has 3 counties in total; they are Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey.
Since becoming independent in 1962, Jamaica has remained uprising free, suffered no major political assassination, adhered to the rule of law, maintained a free press, and held regular multi-party elections in which the incumbent party has been voted out more than once.
This fact may seem trivial, but over the past 50 years, few of the 150 nations with more than a million population can make such a collective claim. In fact just over 10% can state this claim they include: Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Jamaica.
The National Training Agency, HEART, currently has 28 training institutions on the island, all of which are government funded and operated and geared toward employer-specific training. With focus now placed on ICT, programs have been developed to specifically support the industry.
Jamaica’s sourced services industry already employs some 10,000 persons. The industry is in Montego Bay, Kingston the capital and Portmore, the English-speaking Caribbean’s largest middle-income dormitory city (400,000 residents).
Jamaica boasts an impressive English-speaking labour pool with a clear familiar accent and strong cultural affinity. Productivity is high and attrition rates are low, averaging about 13% annually. The island’s 3 largest universities turn out thousands of tertiary graduates annually. Currently 8.3% (103,000) of the workforce is university educated and 30.5% are high school graduates.
Wages in Jamaica for call centre employees are approximately 40-60% lower than in the UK Canadian and USA. Consistent and rapid devaluation of the Jamaica dollar against the UK Pound and US dollar (despite international recession) has resulted in wage deflation for international investors. This results in daily savings for English speaking companies especially on recurring fixed payroll expenses.
Jamaica does have an excellent telecommunications infrastructure. The Fibralink submarine cable network provides enhanced delivery of business and broadband traffic. Jamaica is linked to the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) submarine cable in the Dominican Republic. There are two major broadband carriers which provide double redundancy.
The liberalization of Jamaica’s telecom industry in 2000 paved the way for more competitive rates in telecom costs. Today there are two major providers of landline services; Cable & Wireless (Lime) and Columbus Communications (Flow) and both offer competitive telecom rates. There are 3 Providers of Mobile Services: Lime (C&W), Digicel and Claro, which also now offers 4G capacity.