Nearshore Americas

Sutherland Global Launches ‘Earn While You Learn Initiative’ in Jamaica

Global BPO service provider Sutherland Global Services (SGS) has extended a helping hand to the University of Technology (UTech) to train Jamaican students in outsourcing services. The training program looks similar to that of Avasant’s youth digital employment initiative, which has already trained more than 30 youths in the Caribbean country.

As part of the agreement, Sutherland Global will finance construction of a center named ‘Earn While You Learn’ inside the University campus. The BPO provider has similar a delivery center on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, which the company launched some time in 2012.

As the name of center suggests, Sutherland will employ the students and pay them a salary during the course of the training. Unlike Avasant’s initiative, Sutherland will employ the students upon completion of the training.

Sudherland stated that the business model enables the company to function without spending additional resources in hiring and training new staff. “That is why this model is attractive, and that is why we are looking to expand along these lines,” said Odetta Rockhead, Country Head for SGS. Students can choose to work part-time or full-time, said the BPO firm in a press release.

Jamaica’s Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites lauded the University for the partnership, noting that the students will gain skills for jobs in the BPO sector. “Success of the venture will attract other leading corporations to give Jamaica a favorable look in this BPO arena.”

“It is our intention to ensure that the plans outlined in the MoU are carried out in the shortest possible time,” stated Professor Colin Gyles, acting president of the university.

Sutherland has been operating in Jamaica for the past three years, offering services in finance and accounting, human resource outsourcing, sales, technical support and customer care. Most of its agents provide customer care services through voice, video, chat and email.

Founded in 1986 by the Indian-born Vellodi, Sutherland is one of the top F&A service providers in the nearshore region, with delivery centers in Mexico and Colombia in addition to Jamaica.

Last year, reports surfaced that the company poached several top executives from Capgemini as part of a plan to expand rapidly in Latin American region. SGS employs about 36,000 people in over 40 centers worldwide, with 40% of its revenue coming from Fortune 50 companies. In Colombia alone, the company has hired about 1,500 employees, but there is no clear data about its headcount in Jamaica.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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