Call centers face brave new world of automation
THE PHILIPPINE contact center sector will add at least 73,000 new jobs annually until 2020 when total employment is expected to reach 1.2 million and work opportunities have shifted towards more complex jobs, officials of an industry group said.
“Today as we speak, thousands of jobs are being transformed through automation,” said Benedict C. Hernandez, chairman of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines ( CCAP), in a press conference at the Makati Shangri-La hotel on Wednesday.
He was citing a study conducted for the sector covering the previous year, when the number of contact center jobs totaled 751,000, until 2022.
“Parts of what people used to do manually are now being done by machines and, when you do that, the jobs become different,” he said.
Mr. Hernandez, who also heads Accenture’s local operations, categorized into three the type of tasks being done by the sector’s workforce: simple, midcomplex and highly complex jobs.
In 2016, simple tasks accounted for 47% of contact center work, but its share will shrink to 27% by 2022, largely because of automation and improved efficiency.
He said there would still be growth year-on-year for simple tasks, but the rate of growth will be outstripped by the rate of automation.
This means jobs in the mid- to highly complex tasks will grow from 53% of the industry total last year to 73% by 2022.
“For us fortunately, the global market will continue to grow,” Mr. Hernandez said.