BPO Jamaica, September 25, 2019

10 BPO JAMAICA: BPO JAMAICA WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 BPO Jamaica: As programme director of skills development for the GSS Project, what are your responsibilities? Marjorie Straw (MS): To provide strategic, organisational, financial, and technical direction to the Project Execution Unit (PEU). To provide leadership, coordination, and guidance in all matters pertaining to the successful administration and implementation of the Skills Development for GSS Programme through the efficient management of the PEU in accordance to the stipulations contained in the loan contract. BPO Jamaica:What is the GSS? MS: The GSS Loan Agreement was officially launched on January 24, 2019. GSS is a five-year project that will be executed by various stakeholders, including Jampro, Heart Trust/NTA,the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI). The loan agreement is for US$15 million. This project will give Jamaica the opportunity to transform itself beyond being known as a business process outsourcing (BPO) destination to one focused on the broader global services. The global services comprise all the activities and skilled services that can be transformed by information and communications technology, thus enabling them to be undertaken at any distance away from the core business centre and delivered directly to the final customer. It includes BPO (internal business processes like customer service, billing, marketing, tech support), plus ITO (software development, app development, network management) and knowledge process outsourcing (market intelligence, data analytics, legal services). BPO Jamaica:Why is it important for the Jamaican workforce to be developed to that level? MS: Because the Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the way businesses operate and demanding new skills. In order to be competitive, Jamaica needs to develop a stronger skills, development framework that supports a consistent pipeline of persons who can respond to industry demands, regardless of sector. BPO Jamaica:What is your educational background? MS: I attended Wolmer’s Girls’ for my secondary education, after which I attended The University of the West Indies and the Florida International University. I majored in languages and economics. an executive master’s degree in business administra-tion and certified project management professional. BPO Jamaica:What was your career choice as a student? MS: To be a certified translator or interpreter. BPO Jamaica:Who or what has been your inspiration? MS: My mother has been my strongest inspiration as she is strong, resilient, and knows how to persevere, regardless of what she faces. BPO Jamaica: Prior to your appointment, what were your views of the BPO industry, and what is your opinion now? MS: I have always had a positive view of the BPO industry as it has always represented a high-growth industry for Jamaica. Now that the focus has expanded to the GSS, of which the BPO is a subset, my opinion is that the potential for the industry is even greater than before. The GSS is also comprised of information, technology-enabled services and knowledge process outsourcing, which means that tech companies, not just BPO operators, can contribute to this industry. BPO Jamaica:Will the programme be introduced in our high schools, and what is the timeline for this? MS: High-school students will be made aware of the opportunities within the GSS. the MoEYI is one of the partners in the project, and we intend to sensitise students and guidance counsellors on the career options within the industry. One of the outputs of the project is to have a career pathway developed, which will chart a road map and help persons to understand how to navigate to the different career paths/options.Additionally, the project will design and implement Transforming Jamaica’s outsourcing sector BPO Jamaica chats with Marjorie Straw, programme director of skills development for the Global Services Sector Project ERSON LITY OF THE MONTH

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