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Sa-a: Cebu BPO industry in need of workers with high-value skills

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz April 22,2019 - 12:00 PM

Wilfredo Sa-a Jr. (2nd from left), managing director of Cebu ICT-BPM Organization, said that the industry now needs workers with digital skills training like coding and machine learning. With him are (l to r) Franklin Pasayloon, Sykes Synergis center director; Kris Villaba, Sykes Robinson Galleria center director; and Jed Narvioz, Sykes IT Park senior site director./Irene Sino Cruz

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Stakeholders, academe and government need to equip future manpower with digital skills and content creation capability to meet Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry requirement for higher-value skills.

Wilfredo Sa-a, managing director of the Cebu Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) Organization or CIB-O, cited the need for Cebu to consider development of skills beyond the usual voice and non-voice services.

While the BPO industry continues to grow generally, Sa-a said, the growth was not as fast as in the past years with some exception.

“We see more growth in the non-voice enhanced basic services,” he pointed out.

Franklin Pasayloon, center director of Sykes Synergis, explained that the industry has been moving towards the recruitment of workers with digital skills on data labelling, machine learning and robotics, among others.

Kris Villaba, center director for Sykes Robinsons Galleria, noted that the BPOs hire workers not just for customer support or taking calls.

BPOs also need content creators like graphic artists and content writers, Villaba added.

At present, efforts to equip jobseekers and future workforce focus only on voice-related job skills, according to Pasayloon.

The changes in the manpower skills required by BPOs meant that a job in the industry is more than what was perceived, said Jed Narvioz, senior site director of Sykes IT Park.

Narvioz, an engineering graduate, said the industry now provides a job alternative for college graduates with the growing requirement for more sophisticated skills. He cited the growing evolution from voice to other required services.

Pasayloon urged the academe and local governments to consider changes in their focus from the more traditional voice-related training to the higher digital skills training.

He suggested that these trainings could also help out-of-school youths who could not afford the four-year or five-year college courses./dcb

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