Central Sorting Office to Accommodate BPO Operations

Photo: Dave Reid The Post and Telecommunications Department’s Central Sorting Office (CSO), on South Camp Road, Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • The Government has set aside offices at the Central Sorting Office (CSO) for business process outsourcing (BPO)/call centre operations as is looks to meet the huge demand for space to accommodate the fast-growing outsourcing firms, which generate thousands of jobs.
  • Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the move is aimed at creating additional employment, particularly in the BPO sector.
  • It is also consistent with the Administration’s Job Creation and Economic Growth Strategic Priority, focusing on the development and growth of key productive sectors.

The Government has set aside offices at the Central Sorting Office (CSO) for business process outsourcing (BPO)/call centre operations as is looks to meet the huge demand for space to accommodate the fast-growing outsourcing firms, which generate thousands of jobs.

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the move is aimed at creating additional employment, particularly in the BPO sector, in which he tells JIS News “we will be celebrating (over) 20,000 jobs being created…this year.”

It is also consistent with the Administration’s Job Creation and Economic Growth Strategic Priority, focusing on the development and growth of key productive sectors.

Mr. Paulwell, who has portfolio responsibility for the postal service, says 50,000 sq. ft. of the 200,000 sq. ft. of space at the CSO, located on South Camp Road, is to be leased to GraceKennedy Limited.

“They will be able to have access…by the end of this month (November),” he says.

“We anticipate that, very shortly…there will be another floor that will be (another 50,000 sq. ft….by early in the New Year (2016); and then, eventually, the entire 200,000 sq. ft. will be available,” he notes further.

He tells JIS News that the space being provided at the multi-storey building, which houses the headquarters of the Post and Telecommunications Department, can facilitate the creation of over 5,000 jobs, and expresses confidence that “those jobs will be available.”

He says there is a commitment by telecommunications provider, Flow, to provide 400 call centre seats, which will be accommodated at the complex.

“We negotiated with Flow and a commitment was given that those 400 seats would be brought to Jamaica from El Salvador (and) they have confirmed…that, that will be done. So, it is just a matter of the building out of the space to accommodate those jobs,” he says.

Mr. Paulwell says the overall build-out of the CSO space should be “significant,” pointing out that the undertaking is expected to entail the installation of workstations and computer facilities by the business interests.

This, he notes, will represent “substantial improvement” to the building, from which the Government will earn revenue.

The Minister adds that the anticipated revenues to be generated will enable the Ministry to undertake “critical commercialisation work.”

He tells JIS News that preparations are being made to relocate staff currently based at the CSO complex to facilitate the build-out of the facility for BPO operations.

“There are some initiatives for a large space for them to be accommodated, and that is being pursued. We want to make sure that the transition is orderly… (and) that the staff… is not too inconvenienced. We have to ensure that they are comfortable, and that where they eventually go, will be suitable for them to carry out the work of the postal services. So we are trying to manage the transition very carefully,” he outlines.

Mr. Paulwell tells JIS News that the Ministry is also exploring opportunities for commercial activities at other postal facilities islandwide.

He says the Ministry is already earning some revenue from commercial engagements at the Liguanea Post Office in St. Andrew.

The complex has been transformed into a mall, which accommodates a number of merchants providing a range of goods and services, including an Internet café.

“We are going to be identifying all of the post offices across Jamaica where that kind of arrangement (and BPO/call centre operations) can be implemented,” Mr. Paulwell states.

Citing the BPO/call centre sector as a major employer, the Minister notes that several multinational corporations have established operations in Jamaica, which are providing jobs for thousands of Jamaicans.

These include global business solutions provider, Xerox, which is targeting the creation of 10,000 jobs. “They are about 7,000,” the Minister tells JIS News.

He says American entity, Sutherland Global Services, has already generated 3,000 jobs and “they (too) want to get to 10,000 jobs.”

Mr. Paulwell informs that more multinational corporations have expressed interest in establishing BPO/call centre operations in Jamaica.

“When you go to Montego Bay…you would be amazed to see some of the operations in these call centres, where Jamaicans are providing highly sophisticated business process services on behalf of international clients,” he points out.

He says the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ), in tandem with the Industry, Investment and Commerce Ministry, is currently exploring the prospects of accommodating these operations in the proposed Special Economic Zones (SEZs), “where we are trying to create…thousands of square feet of office space.”

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