Coming off the unprecedented, deadly and economically disastrous COVID-19 pandemic, more and more Caribbean nations have made concrete ventures into technology fields, slowly fulfilling the widely-touted plot to diversify respective economies throughout the region.
“The digital world and its related trades — e-commerce and digital services, IT, cryptocurrency, telehealth, digital animation, virtual reality and now even video games — have made their way to these stunning shores, and with a promise to provide stable, high-paying jobs,” notes Joseph Boll, CEO of Caribbean Employment Services Inc., a market-leading digital talent acquisition service.
“Increasingly, we are seeing more businesses launched in these fields and more local residents being employed in these sectors in their respective hometowns. At the same time, we are seeing more efforts from governments to ensure residents are adequately trained to take advantage of jobs in these sectors when and as they become available.”
Boll is not the first — or last — to suggest that the Caribbean’s economic future lies within the digital economy. Several other economists, financial experts and entrepreneurs have expressed similar sentiments, urging the region’s residents to embrace digital skills and jobs, even whilst urging governing bodies to support the digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) accordingly. With the Caribbean Development Bank noting MSMEs account for some 50 percent of local jobs and 70 percent of GDP in the region, it stands to reason that bringing MSMEs into the digital sphere can only benefit each nation’s labour market.
Meanwhile, business ventures in individual countries have continued a slow expansion of digital and technology-related sectors, including fintech. As early as last year, the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust pledged to support local women entering the interactive media industry, including video games, virtual reality and augmented reality. Meanwhile, The Bahamas launched Crypto Isle, that nation’s first cryptocurrency house. In both Jamaica and Cayman, plans were being finalized to roll out digital skills training in preparation for an expansion of tech jobs. Most recently, Barbados saw the launch of its first video game company, where hundreds of jobs were made available with appropriate skills training.
Suggesting that the pandemic acted as something of a catalyst in this development, Boll says, “This could be the start of a completely new era in the Caribbean. As we all know, tourism has dominated the economic space and provided the lion’s share of jobs as well — and it’s unlikely that that will change dramatically — but for perhaps the first time, we are seeing the Caribbean start to shift into being recognized for technological fields.”
About Caribbean Employment Services Inc.
Caribbean Employment Services Inc., based in Barbados, is one of the market-leading online talent acquisition services, specializing in helping businesses and organizations recruit the best candidates for their roles and job seekers find their ideal position. https://caribbeanemployment.com