Gov’t Committed to Globally Competitive Animation Industry - Hylton

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton announced the development of a finishing school for animation being spearheaded by JAMPRO with the assistance of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for implementation in 2014.

The Minister made the announcement during an Animation Gap Analysis workshop held under the theme ‘SME Internationalization: Positioning the Animation Industry for Investments and Exports’ at the offices of JAMPRO on Wednesday, July 17th.  He said, “Through JAMPRO and the Inter-American Development Bank, a finishing school will be designed and developed for the Animation sector, to equip animators with the skills to compete on the world stage.”

According to Minister Hylton one of the major priority sectors for economic growth and development is the Creative Industries, which encompasses music, film, art and fashion. To further the development of this sector MIIC has allocated JMD $20 million of this year’s budget to the development and expansion of the Creative Industries.

The Minister elaborated that “these service- oriented industries, properly managed, can become major generators of foreign exchange.  Entertainment – a subset of the creative industries – currently represents one of the few areas in which Jamaica’s balance of payment is positive.  It also serves to strengthen national pride, as it is through the Creative Industries that we are able to capitalise on Jamaica’s inimitable culture and creativity as part of an economic strategy.”

As part of the development of the finishing school, IDB and JAMPRO have utilized the services of Animator James Caswell, lecturer at Sheridan College in Canada to do a needs assessment analysis. Mr. Caswell, who has worked with Nelvana /Corus (one of the world's leading international producers and distributors of children's animated content) and the renowned Walt Disney Television Animation, conducted master class sessions at the Animation Gap Analysis workshop with specially invited local animators. The goal of the classes being to measure and identify which skill sets within animation that Jamaica needs to focus on.

As part of his assessment Mr. Caswell also conducted a number of site visits to local animation studios and schools to assess the human capital needs mapping the workforce skills required for the sector. These recommendations will then be taken into consideration for the finishing school design.

Jamaica has many advantages in the animation sector including access to a large, skilled workforce, a near shore advantage and cultural affinity with large animation markets of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. In addition, Jamaica is the third largest English speaking nation in the Western Hemisphere, with a strong reputation for creativity.

According to Minister Hylton the Government is committed to elevating the Creative Industries from the periphery to the centre stage of our economic growth strategy, and job-creation effort. Animation is part of the exploration of new and lucrative aspects of the creative industries to shore up Jamaica’s growth prospects. Jamaica is being positioned as the animation hub of the entire Americas.


The Jamaica Film Commission at JAMPRO has designated animation as one of the areas of growth in the audiovisual industry of Jamaica. As part of this mandate the Jamaica Coalition of Service Industries (JCSI), JAMPRO and the Trade and Investment Unit (INT/TIU) of IDB hosted the workshop. This is a key part of creating an industry roadmap for Jamaica which will focus on the investments and educational framework needed to create a solid foundation for the growth and development of an animation industry.  

Published Date: 
Thursday, July 18, 2013