AN ADDITIONAL space measuring 30,000 square meters (sqm) is now available for business process outsourcing (BPO) locators in Davao City by the first quarter of 2015, ICT-Davao has reported.
ICT-Davao president Samuel Matunog, who guested in Monday's edition of Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao, said these BPO spaces will be made available due to the entry of new IT parks in the city, like the Matina IT Park, Felcris, Lanang Busness Park, and new spaces offered by SM malls.
The additional space will add up to the current 7,500 sqm. BPO spaces in the region.
Matunog said these new BPO spaces will be able to generate some 9,000 jobs.
Matunog said there will be no problem in filling up these spaces as several IT-BPO companies are looking at Davao City as their alternative location to ensure business continuity.
But he said the problem now is how to be able to supply qualified manpower for the IT-BPO industry in order to address the demand.
In order to do this, Matunog said there is a need to raise the level of the graduates.
"We have about 20,000 graduates in the Davao Region every year.
Currently, we have about 20,000 full time employees—voice, non-voice, and knowledge workers—in IT-BPO. We’re looking only for 9000 in the next two years. We need to address the lack of applicants and the challenge of why schools are not graduating employable workers," he said.
Matunog said some of the challenges of some of the industry's graduates include "English language proficiency, some [graduates] have the impression that BPOs are not promoting the right values or culture to workers, and the issue of working in different time zones."
"Fortunately, there is so much opportunity available, and Tesda and the local government are investing in scholarships and training," he added.
Matunog said JoBS Academy, with the support of Tesda and the local government, is offering scholarships worth P5,400,000, which has to be exhausted within the year.
Belinda Laya-Torres, JoBS Academy president, said they continue to offer scholarships in software development and FCCA (Finishing Course for Call Center Agents) to produce graduates who could fill the requirements of BPOs.
"To produce 100 percent employable graduates, the technique is knowing the needs of the industry, talking to the owners of BPOs themselves, and putting into the curriculum what they need. In the academy, students build up their own portfolio, which they can show to their clients. We also teach them how to fish for jobs, including those online," she said.
We need to overhaul our training programs to fill up these training spaces. The private and public sectors are working together, pushing to ensure that we have adequate talent to fill up these positions," Matunog said. (Brent Harvey S. Jimenez, AdDU Intern)