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Industry Research : Solon: Develop High-value Services to Protect IT-BPO Industry
A lawmaker has urged stakeholders in the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry to expedite expansion into non-voice and other high-value services in light of reports that US companies are aiming to bring back jobs from overseas.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the Senate committee on science and technology, renewed his call as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and "jobs4america" — a coalition mostly of call center companies — pledged to create 100,000 new jobs in the US over the next two years, with some coming from overseas.
He also mentioned that AT&T recently vowed to bring back 5,000 wireless call center jobs if its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA is approved.
"Trying economic times have become the incentive for the US to start reeling in the work they outsourced. For IT-BPO to remain a sunrise industry in the country, we need to expand beyond voice services and deepen our pool of professionals well-versed in financial analytics, legal research, creative content, software development, medical transcription and other knowledge-intensive services," said Angara.
In 2010, the Philippines overtook India as the top destination for BPO voice services. The industry earned $9 billion in total revenues last year and employed 525,000 skilled workers and professionals.
Recent projections see the industry’s non-voice segment expanding by 20 percent to 25 percent over the next five years.
Angara noted that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to train and prepare 2,200 scholars to be part of the BPO workforce.
According to Tesda director general Joel Villanueva, they will provide BPAP a P20-million fund to be distributed equally to industry associations responsible for training scholars.
Included in the fund are the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), Health Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP), Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI) and Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).
"We should now aim to be more than just the contact center of the world. All IT-BPO stakeholders should help build up on the efforts of Tesda and BPAP and collaborate on more long-term talent development interventions," said the lawmaker.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011