Jamaica has been named as the top outsourcing centre in the Caribbean by global management consultants, AT Kearney.
According to a report in the London Times, which explores the growth of the outsourcing industry globally, “Jamaica is the Caribbean’s offshoring leader, thanks to its English-speaking population, its government’s generous incentives for the industry and the island’s proximity to the United States.”
Jamaica now has more than 15,000 outsourcing employees, according to data published by AT Kearney in the annual Global Services Location Index (GSLI). The report lists India as the number one country for outsourcing, followed by China and Malaysia. Jamaica is the only Caribbean country in the top 50, listed at number 24.
The report notes that the geography of offshoring is shifting dramatically with established central European countries falling significantly and low-cost countries in South-East Asia and the Middle East making solid gains.
AT Kearney’s researchers say the shifts are down to deteriorating cost advantages in some areas of the world and improved labour quality in others.
Norbert Jorek, a partner at AT Kearney told the Times: “While cost remains a major driver in decisions about where to outsource, the quality of the labour pool is gaining importance as companies view the labour market through a global lens, driven by talent shortages at home, particularly in higher, value-added functions. In response, governments all over the world are investing in the human capital demanded by the offshoring industry.”
Commenting on Jamaica’s GSLI ranking, Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Anthony Johnson said it is important to know that the world regards the country as a leading centre for outsourcing.
“It means we ought to be ensuring that we have adequate resources in place, particularly trained hands and minds that are ready to accept the opportunities as they arise, and to ensure that we get the maximum out of it, because it is an industry that is creating millions of jobs,” he said.
Mr. Johnson noted that the new coalition government in the UK was looking at outsourcing as a means of keeping the British economy going as they try to get out of the recession. “Whenever the UK looks for developing country operations, they tend to regard Jamaica as a prime area. I would hope that this would mean that we would see more approaches to Jamaica and it is time for Jamaican interests to be ensuring that they are approaching UK business operators and the UK government to ensure that they can get access to the opportunities,” he argued.