JIS: Some of the country's community colleges have taken steps to incorporate Business Process Management and Logistics-related programmes into their curriculum, in a move that aligns with the strategic direction of the Government and respond to the emerging needs of the Jamaican economy.Executive Director of the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ), Dr Donna Powell Wilson, said at least one college already offers an Associate's Degree in Business Process Management. She was in addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ' Think Tank' on Thursday, May 25.

 

The Portmore Community College took the lead in developing the curriculum, which has been made available to other colleges across the island. An additional two colleges will start offering the programme in September.

 

“We have also established relationships with the BPO industry, so our learners will have the opportunity to do their work experience in some of those institutions,” Dr Powell Wilson said, adding that the CCCJ seeks to ensure that colleges are always responding effectively to the demands of the labour market.

 

She noted that community colleges have, in the meantime, been offering BPO and logistics-related programmes, such as the Associate in Business Studies and the Associate in Engineering Studies. The CCCJ will be developing a professional certification for persons who have completed those programmes.

 

“That certificate will (show they have) the competency and skills for them to operate in the BPO, at a step above entry level,” Dr Powell Wilson said.

 

Meanwhile, Principal of Knox Community College and President of the Association of Principals and Vice Principals of Community Colleges, Dr Gordon Cowans, said the swift response of the colleges to the emerging needs of the economy speaks to the flexibility of the sector.

"We are able to respond to not just the immediate community needs but also to the national economy's demands. So we are very proud,” he said.

Dr Cowans further noted that the community colleges will in a few weeks, through collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, facilitate the training of high school students for entry level students in Business Process Outsourcing.

 

Some 3,000 to 4,000 youth will participate in the training, which will utilize the facilities and other resources of the community colleges.

 

There are eight community colleges in Jamaica in 25 different locations across the island. They are the Bethlehem Moravian College, Moneague College, the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE), Excelsior Community College, Montego Bay Community College, Brown's Town Community College, Portmore Community College and Knox Community College.

 

CAPTION: Executive Director of the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica, Dr Donna Powell Wilson, (Photo: JIS)