The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (Ibpap) reiterated the importance of talent development, attractive investment environment, solid branding and cross-sectoral involvement in achieving the goals that were set by the country’s Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry in its 2016 road map.
The development of skills and competencies of workers, not just of those who are currently employed but of prospective workers as well, remains one of the top priorities as these are the backbone of the industry, according to Ibpap Senior Human Resource consultant Susan Vidal.
“To expand the talent pool, the industry and the government should actively collaborate by focusing on key priorities, like improving key talent initiatives and introducing industry-recognized standards and accreditations,” she said.
Vidal cited examples like the Ibpap National Assessment Tool and training-for-work scholarships as immediate priorities, as well as setting industry standards through testing for students, quality accreditations for teachers and training providers, and priority hiring for accredited talent.
The Ibpap official said that while the country is well-known for its inclination with the English language, not everyone can speak the language properly.
“People might not know this, but we are actually lacking in competency skills. There are those that are good in grammar, but needs improvements in accent, while there are those who have accents that are globally competitive, but lack proper grammar,” she added.
Vidal said that to address this problem like these, the organization formed collaborations with government agencies like the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Science and Technology-Science Engineering Institute (DOST-SEI).
“For academic year 2013 to 2015, CHED funding was granted to 17 SUCs [state colleges and universities]for talent development programs. We are doing these in SUCs near areas considered as next wave cities,” Vidal said.
Besides talent development, Vidal said that there is a need for the industry to “strengthen the attractiveness of the Philippines as an investment destination” and to do this, internal marketing must be undertaken to raise awareness and dispel misconceptions on IT-BPM.
“Very critical is industry branding. There are still a lot of things that the public does not know about the industry, not only here in the Philippines but also abroad,” Vidal said.
“For example, in year 2000 when the industry is relatively new, we heard stories that before foreigners would come to invest here, they would first check factors like local disease and disaster control. But when they came here, they were so amazed that they thought this particular country is like the best-kept secret in Asia,” Vidal said.
Ibpap is optimistic that by 2016, the industry will earn $25 billion in revenues and employ 1.3 million directly and 3.2 million indirectly, which could account for about 8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Jan Erick C. Tutaan