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Unlocking the Potential of TVET in the IT-BPO Sector

Posted: 2017-05-30
Category: Events
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Presentation of Initial Findings by Mr. Nicholas Price

The AIM Policy Center brings together IT-BPM stakeholders for TVET roundtable

 



The Asian Institute of Management Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness (AIM RSN PCC), along with partner Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), conducted a roundtable discussion entitled Unlocking the Potential of TVET in the IT-BPO Sector last May 11, 2017 at AIM's Meralco Caseroom.

The event brought together different stakeholders from the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM or IT-BPO) sector to discuss the role of technical vocational education and training (TVET) in teaching skills necessary for a career in the sector, as well as the challenges and issues hindering effective implementation of training policy. The Center invited a panel consisting of four representatives from the IT-BPM sector, government, and educational institutions to anchor the discussion.

After opening remarks delivered by AIM RSN PCC Executive Director Dr. Jamil Paolo S. Francisco, Research Associate Nicholas Price kicked the roundtable off with a presentation on the Center's previous IT-BPM research, as well as its initial findings on the potential of TVET to contribute to skills development in the sector.

Based on interviews with key sector representatives, hiring rates for some IT-BPM subsectors fall below 10 percent. They stated that many applicants lacked the required competencies, such as English proficiency and problem-solving skills, to qualify for positions in the sector. This lack of qualified applicants has made it difficult for firms to satisfy continued demand for labor, particularly for higher-skill, higher-value functions.

The four panelists delivered short reactions to the presentation before a lively open forum moderated by Dr. Francisco.

Contact Center Association of the Philippines Operations Director Jay Santisteban added that with artificial intelligence and the automation of certain processes threatening lower-skill jobs, the sector must adapt. Effective TVET policy could contribute to this process through closer coordination and partnership with industry.

Jemain Diaz de Rivera, Healthcare Information Management Associaiton of the Philippines (HIMAP) Executive Director, noted that the lack of English proficiency in the country is one of the greatest hurdles to growth that the sector faces. She also observed that filling demand for higher-skill knowledge-based positions is a priority of the sector.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Regional Director Conrado Bares of Region V discussed his agency's involvement in the sector, including the processes behind the administration of training courses and the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). He stated that developing skills for IT-BPM was a priority for TESDA and that the agency was open to closer partnership between them and the industry.

Finally, Vladimir Santos, Business Development and Marketing Director of the MFI Polytechnic Institute, Inc., a training institution, discussed their training strategies how partnering with industry has helped MFI respond to the demand for new training content resulting from rapidly evolving technology.

KAS Philippine Country Director Benedikt Seemann closed the event with remarks on the ability of training to effectively respond to industry demand for skills, as well as the need for the TVET in the Philippines to overcome the negative stigma associated with it, especially when compared to a bachelor's degree.

The insights gained from the roundtable will serve as inputs into the PCC's continuing research on the potential of the IT-BPM sector to promote shared prosperity and on the role of training in this process.

 

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