Diaspora Technology Task Force Urges Members to Hire Jamaicans

Photo: Michael Sloley Adjunct Professor, Seminole State College, United States of America (USA), Professor Dwight Elliot (left), shares a moment with the Lead, Jamaica Diaspora Agriculture and Technology Task Forces, USA, Kimone Gooden (centre), and Chief Information Officer, GraceKennedy and Moderator of the ICT, Digitisation and the future of work Plenary session, Simon Roberts, at the Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on July 26.

The Diaspora Technology Task Force is calling for members to  hire Jamaican talent who can work from home online.

“There is a huge opportunity for businesses in the Diaspora to leverage virtual resources and freelance talent to save costs and perform work in your businesses, that you would normally hire someone in your neighbourhood to do, and Jamaica can be a source for that,” Diaspora Technology Task Force member, Kimone Gooden, said.

She was addressing the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference in Kingston on July 26, the final day of the event.

Ms. Gooden highlighted that research shows that by 2020, some 40 per cent of jobs globally will be in freelance and virtual work, adding that hiring virtual resources from Jamaica would be cheaper with lower operational costs.

Another added benefit is “the creation of jobs in your home country of Jamaica,” she noted.

Ms. Gooden also presented findings which indicated that it would be 200 per cent cheaper to hire the same resource in Jamaica than to hire in the US.

Additionally, it was found to be 250 per cent cheaper than in Canada and 300 per cent cheaper than in the United Kingdom (UK).

“Therefore it is a significant operational saving for business owners, especially those who own start-ups,” Ms. Gooden argued.

She outlined that there are several platforms where you can access Jamaican freelancers’ information, including:  upwork.com; freelancer.com; and fiverr.com.

Ms. Gooden also pointed out that JAMPRO can assist with connecting to virtual resources in Jamaica.

She identified some Diaspora-owned businesses that have started to leverage this opportunity, including companies that have hired Receptionists; E-Commerce Customer Service Representatives; Social Media Managers; Virtual Editors; Architectural Designers; Software Engineers; Graphic Designers as well as Data Entry persons.

Ms. Gooden explained that the objective of the Diaspora Technology Task Force is to facilitate Diaspora-owned companies and to encourage small businesses to leverage Jamaica for its virtual resource pool.

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