Training in BPO work, hospitality bodes well for new grads–Dole

FRESH graduates who have degrees in hospitality management, construction, services and manufacturing can expect more chances of landing a job this time, said a Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) official.

Dole 7 Director Chona M. Mantilla said the expansion of businesses in these industries has raised the demand for qualified workers. She cited the growing number of hotels and business process outsourcing companies that have recently opened in the country.

On Dole’s official job portal, Mantilla said, BPO jobs ranked first in terms of the number of vacancies.

As of yesterday, the website listed roughly 70,000 job openings. Call center agent was the most common position offered, with 5,033 vacancies. This was then followed by sales clerk, production worker and service crew.

Also part of the top 50 vacancies are job openings for receptionists, electronics and communications equipment technicians, and information technology specialists.

However, Mantilla also brought up during the interview that even if there are plenty of jobs available for fresh graduates, employability still depends on their qualifications.

“There are plenty of jobs right now, but the question is, are they qualified?” Mantilla said.

Mantilla pointed out the employment rate in the country is at 94 percent, but this is expected to increase slightly in the coming months as fresh college graduates join the workforce.

Government internships offered

Meanwhile, Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) managing director Jun Sa-a said he believes that Cebu has qualified graduates, but the competition in landing a job is tough.

To help fresh graduates increase their employability, Mantilla said, they can opt to avail themselves of the Government Internship Program (GIP).

Under GIP, selected interns will be trained in the Dole’s public service functions and operations for around six months. They will receive allowances amounting to 75 percent of the existing minimum wage applicable to their assigned Dole agencies or offices.

Mantilla said local government units and other government agencies are also accepting GIP interns.

Dole started accepting fresh college graduates from school year 2011-2012 who finished degree courses relevant to Dole’s operations, such as economics, law, labor and industrial relations, social science, political science, public administration, and journalism/communication.

In addition, Mantilla said that her office is visiting colleges and universities to provide seminars that will prepare graduating students for job-hunting, like how to ace their job interviews.

She also said Dole 7 is coordinating with the guidance counselors of colleges and universities, who will initiate dialogues with students on their career paths. This, she said, is hoped to lessen cases of job mismatch.

Cloud, big data training

In the ICT sector, fresh graduates’ employability has increased with the academe-industry gap lessened because of collaboration, Sa-a said in earlier interviews.

Last year, IT storage hardware solutions provider EMC conducted free training for teachers on cloud infrastructure. Sa-a said partner universities in Visayas and in Mindanao have pledged to incorporate cloud infrastructure in their curriculum. Cedfit will also conduct training sessions on big data to prepare students for the demand of big data-related jobs.

There is also the Philippine Information Technology General Certification Exam or the PHIL-IT GCE, which is an online examination initiated by CEDF-IT and adopted by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines to assess graduates’ readiness to enter the IT industry.

“The demand for BPO workers continues in the contact centers and other BPO activities. We are now seeing more health information management and insurance management operations,” Sa-a said.
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