Philippines’ BPO industry faces shortage of qualified talents

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Philippines_BPO_IndustryWith the rapid growth in the past ten years, Philippines’ outsourcing industry is now facing a shortage of qualified personnel after the booming demand of talents overtakes the supply of trained workers in the country.

President of IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines, Jose Mari Mercado, said that the industry which include software design, animation, call centers and other functions that foreign companies find cheaper to outsource abroad, has annually grown by 20% since 2007.

“We’ve been so successful that our clients are asking us to do more work but the work they are asking us to do requires certain skills we don’t normally have,” Mercado stated at the sidelines of an industry summit.

The industry is also facing a growing demand of financing and accounting professionals, as well as middle managers which the industry cannot immediate meet, he added.

Outsourcing business now accounts 8% of the Philippine economy, and is projected to rise by 10% in 2016 with 1.3 million direct employees and $25 billion in overseas earnings.

This year alone, the industry has about 960,000 direct employees nationwide and a total earning of $16 billion; a notable increase from 770,000 direct employees and $13 billion overseas earnings last year.

“What is stopping us from growing faster is that our skills and competences have to develop faster to meet the global demand,” Mercado said. “You can’t just say you will hire a middle manager with five years of experience. There are very few people (like that). Definitely it is part of growing pains,” he added.

With hopes of sustaining the growth of the outsourcing industry, IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines is now working with the government and academic circles to develop courses that can support the talent needs of the industry.

And since 72% of the companies located in Metropolitan Manila, the government and the industry are now working on setting up more outsourcing centers outside metro Manila.

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