VM CEO urges businesses to invest in tech, digital upskilling

Lascelles Chin (left), executive chairman, Lasco, greets John Mahfood (right), President of the Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association (JMEA), while Courtney Campbell (2nd left), group president and CEO, VM Group; and Gary “Butch” Hendrickson, Chairman and CEO of Continental Baking Company, look on, during the JMEA M&E Awards Banquet on Saturday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel. The VM Group was title sponsor of the event.

VM Group president & CEO Courtney Campbell is urging business leaders in Jamaica to support their team in transitioning to new labour market opportunities, as well as invest in digital reskilling and upskilling programmes.

Addressing the Jamaica Manufacturers & Employers Association’s (JMEA) M&E Awards Banquet at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Saturday, October 8, Campbell noted that before COVID-19, Jamaica’s economy suffered from low rates of productivity and high income inequality, which he said was due in part to the low availability of critical skills required for global competitiveness.

“We have to transform the content of our training,” he urged. “COVID-19 has accelerated technology adoption in all sectors, so these talent-related challenges have become even more pronounced. If your company or country cannot claim a ready pool of these digital skills, you will be left behind.”

He said VM Group, in 2018, devised an ambitious digital transformation programme by infusing digital technologies into all of VM’s key business processes. The group’s digital strategy is dedicated to digital capabilities-building, with focus on skills such as design thinking, customer journey mapping, data analysis, agile methodologies, scrum, lean, black belt and DevOps.

Campbell said, “Our people have also adapted to remote collaboration. We have invested in a digital collaboration platform to enable the shift to this new paradigm, and even more importantly, we have a continuous training programme designed to help our team capitalise on the benefits of the platform for greater productivity while working remotely.”

VM Group was title sponsor for the JMEA 2022 M&E Awards, aimed at recognising leaders in the productive sector. The awards banquet was held under the theme: ‘Manufacturing & Exporting, Reigniting Jamaica for Greatness’ and saw Red Stripe walking away with the coveted VM-Group – JMEA Legacy Award.

The sponsorship follows last month’s launch of a partnership between VM Pensions Management Limited and the JMEA, which sees the JMEA member companies being able to access a bundled retirement package, which includes an approved retirement scheme (ARS) and a suite of other specially curated offerings from across the group.

In addition to enrollment in an affordable pension scheme, the association’s members can now benefit from reduced rates and special access to corporate financing solutions, onboarding discount on investment management fees, reduced fees on business loans, commercial mortgages and auto loans, insurance and other products, access to equity or debt investments as well as financial coaching for companies seeking to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

Employees enrolled in the scheme can also access preferential rates for residential mortgages and discounts on property valuations, special VM Drive auto loan packages, an unsecured loan facility and discounts on insurance products from British Caribbean Insurance Company (BCIC), a VM Group affiliated company.

Courtney Campbell, Group president & CEO, VM Group, addresses the Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association (JMEA) M&E Awards Banquet on Saturday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel. The VM Group was title sponsor of the event.

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