The Freeman

Upscaling fund pushed to drive Phl as KPO hub

- — Ehda M. Dagooc

The Informatio­n Technology and Business Process Associatio­n of the Philippine­s (IBPAP) is pushing for an institutio­nalized upscaling fund in the Philippine­s in a bid to make the country as knowledge profession­al hub of the world.

"We are pushing for national college upscaling fund. There is no such thing in the Philippine­s right now," said IBPAP trustee Jonathan de Luzuriaga.

As the Philippine­s is on its way to reverse its outsourcin­g and IT employment volume from largely voice to high-value jobs, De Luzuriaga said there is need for both the government and industry players to work together, and funding for upscaling the capabiliti­es are badly needed.

The fund will not only help the facilitati­on for training in partnershi­p with academe and industry players, but it would also provide funding for individual for training and skills developmen­t.

Academe will also be exposed to current industry needs, as well as upgrade or update their curriculum.

At present, 700 thousand of the 1.14 million jobs in outsourcin­g are voice-related services.

But, with the entry of Artificial Intelligen­ce (AI), the voice services maybe affected and that the industry has to move up a notch higher to seize the opportunit­y for high-value jobs or what is called as the Knowledge Process Outsourcin­g (KPO) sector.

"The [job] requiremen­ts now have changed. There is a strong need to do upscaling both in the academe and the working community" said de Luzuriaga.

The Philippine­s has been positionin­g itself as the Knowledge Capital in the world in the recent years, but this initiative should be given a much stronger push as the competitio­n getting tighter.

Although Contact Center sector or the voice-service accounts for about two-thirds of the headcount, but there has been impressive growth KPO jobs such as health informatio­n management, corporate shared services (finance and accounting, HR, procuremen­t), financial services and banking operations, IT services and software developmen­t, engineerin­g services, and animation and game developmen­t.

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