Ateneo de Manila, BagoSphere ink partnership on training for employment of disadvantaged youth

Contributed photo
Contributed photo

ATENEO de Manila University, through Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), and BagoSphere have signed an agreement to train and equip disadvantaged, out-of-school, and unemployed youth on English, interview, call center, and human skills to build their confidence, enhance their social skills, and make them competent and job-ready.

Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED) is at the forefront of the Ateneo de Manila University's efforts to provide systematic, high-impact, and visible programs of support for public school systems in the Philippines through the Department of Education, local government units, and other partners.

BagoSphere is an award-winning workforce training company based in the Philippines and in Singapore, focused on human skills and is supported by Elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, Rising Tide Foundation, Fossil Foundation, Frontier Innovators, xChange, and Kickstart Ventures, a subsidiary of Globe Telecom.

“We believe that human skills (such as interpersonal communication, self-awareness, resilience, managing emotions, empathy) is the missing link connecting, reinforcing, and developing other skills. Our programs train young people with a holistic approach, build their human skills and place them in formal jobs, fundamentally changing their life trajectories in a fast-changing world. We call it: humanizing the future of work.”, BagoSphere Chief Executive Officer Zhihan Lee said.

For the past 8 years, BagoSphere has been helping disadvantaged Filipino youth build their interpersonal skills and mindsets to enter the workforce, starting with the BPO and Microfinance industries. BagoSphere has trained over 5,000 people, across 8 cities and 3 job training centers. The BPO job training programs provide an 85-percent job placement rate while BagoSphere’s corporate programs are helping one of the largest microfinance companies in the Philippines reduce their attrition by 70 percent, saving them US$400,000 per year.

ACED and BagoSphere began collaborating in 2016 when BagoSphere successfully brought ACED’s beneficiaries—out-of-school youth and displaced workers—to employment through BagoSphere’s Career Preparation Program for the BPO industry.

“ACED is blessed to partner with BagoSphere in this life-giving program that brings hope to disadvantaged Filipino youth. Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and we hope to develop the capabilities of the participants to help them achieve a better future for themselves and their families. Just as the recent Community Pantry phenomenon showed that many of our countrymen were just waiting for a venue where they can help fellow Filipinos deal with hunger, ACED and BagoSphere look forward to a similar trend where those who are disadvantaged can be helped to access opportunities to a better future through capability-building preparation towards employment in the BPO industry.” says ACED Director Carmela Oracion.

The Career Preparation Program was then face-to-face, but with the pandemic, the partners put together a plan to complement these capabilities online to reach even more people. The Career Prep Program is a one-month, intensive training program on communication, technical, interview, and human skills relevant to the BPO industry. The program features a highly structured and guided end-to-end learning journey to a job, personalized interview practice and feedback with trainers, support by industry experts, and an online community for learning. Students receive a certificate of completion from Ateneo and BagoSphere, and they are directly linked with BPO partners after graduation.

The program is currently funded by scholarships and caters to alumni and students from ACED’s network of schools in Quezon City, Phinma school in Iloilo (University of Iloilo), and beneficiaries of Tondo Community Initiative, and will be open to the general public when more classes are available. While the intensive training program can only accommodate a limited number of participants per class, Bagosphere also opened an online Facebook community, BPO Jobseekers Training Hub, to allow a wider audience to access its curated content with industry experts in webinar and pre-recorded interview formats. As the number of jobseekers grew during the pandemic, the online community serves as a valuable, accessible, and free resource on soft skills training, interview practices, and even financial literacy.

Information on the intensive training program can be accessed through BagoSphere is also open to collaborating with organizations that might want to impact their beneficiaries through the Career Prep Program or through tailored training programs. (PR)


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