News : Fewer Jobs with Automation, AI
Cebu, Philippines, May, 2019 -- Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have affected employment generation in the business process management industry (BPM).
Cebu IT-BPM Organization (Cib.o) executive director Wilfredo "Jun" Sa-a Jr., at the sidelines of the 2019 Transformation Summit, said there were 160,000 BPM employees in Cebu as of 2018. This is lower than their target of 180,000 to 200,000 employees for the year.
"We used to have a target, but we realized that the industry is maturing so it is not growing as fast as it used to grow. We’re also seeing more growth in the non-voice sector, so there are newer companies that are not a contact center. Our growth was fast in the contact center," he said.
"(Our initial target) never happened because of so many factors against our favor. Even on a national level, their projection is really tapering down," he added.
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Voice jobs like call centers are affected with the advent of digital innovations.
Sa-a said Cebu’s BPM industry has matured since 2001, a mainstay for almost 20 years in the ecosystem.
"It goes back to the maturing industry and with the coming of AI, automation and orders of (US President Donald Trump) trying to bring back jobs to America and discouraging investors to go out."
Sa-a said they are eyeing new industries such as higher-valued services like more shared service operations.
"Our direction is towards the non-voice that does not require as many people as before. We have to explore other industries like coding," he said.
With this, Sa-a said Cib.o is collaborating with the Cebu City Government in training 200 senior high school students in coding and programming.
"We really foresee that there will be more requirements for that area, especially with digital transformation like AI and robotics that need talents with strong coding background," he said.
Pilot public schools include the Cebu City National Science High School, Don Carlos A. Gothong Memorial High School, Tisa National High School, Mabolo National High School and Apas National High School.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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