While Jamaica has long been known as one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, its efforts to position itself as the next “Silicon Island” technology hub in the Caribbean are paying off. Jamaica’s government launched the Amber Heart Coding Academy in 2021 as a way to provide training for thousands of young Jamaicans in software development. Before 2021, Jamaica worked to gain a positive position in the technology industry by investing in critical infrastructure. The Global Services Sector project five-year plan implemented in 2019 was designed to give Jamaicans training and opportunities for good jobs in the outsourcing sector of business, knowledge process, and information technology. Along the way, the country faced challenges in attracting foreign investment and reducing the “brain drain” of skilled workers.
Jamaica Well-Positioned to Become Tech Hub
Jamaica, the fourth-largest island in the Caribbean, enjoys several advantages to leverage in becoming a tech hub. Its proximity to the United States is one factor, as is its distinction as an English-speaking country in a time zone that is compatible with the US. It also offers attractive labor costs to American corporations and has also begun to attract the attention of European technology firms looking for customer experience partners in the region.
An Excellent Region for Outsourcing and Nearshoring
Jamaica has the best outsourcing sector in the Caribbean, with over 85 firms having a combined revenue of nearly US$1 billion per year. These firms employ over 60,000 workers, and in June 2023, Jamaica was the first English-speaking country in the Caribbean to host the critical outsourcing summit, Outsource to Latin America and the Caribbean (O2LAC), the largest outsourcing showcase in the Western hemisphere. The organization’s goal is to enhance the potential of developing tech nations.
Government Dedicated to Training in-demand Workers
Jamaica has also become a hotspot for nearshoring for technology firms in the US as they seek high-demand skills in software development, cybersecurity, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Between 2020 and 2022, there was a 2,100 percent increase in workers from Jamaica to fill these roles, Jamaica’s government is planning to train even more workers to fill these positions.
Attractive to Mobile Tech Workers
The relatively new workforce category represented by digital nomads, technology workers who can do their jobs remotely from any location with internet access, finds Jamaica increasingly attractive. These workers are attracted to Jamaica’s unique culture, lifestyle, and Caribbean location.
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