TESDA beefs up BPOs with P20M training funds

29 August 2011

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is giving the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry a boost with a P20-million fund to train close to 2,200 scholars and beef up the pool of workforce needed by BPO companies.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva announced that the agency has recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Business Process Outsourcing of the Philippines (BPAP) and four associations under it for the training.

The four associations are the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), Health Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP), Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI), and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).

The agreements call for the development of a pool of qualified, globally-competitive and job-ready workforce needed by Information-Technology and BPO companies.

TESDA and the BPO groups will team up in the development of training regulations for emerging and in-demand qualifications in the IT-BPO sector.

Under the agreements, the BPO firms should be able to maintain at least a 70 percent absorption rate of the TESDA scholars within six months after their graduation.

"We will provide the training fund to make more Filipinos eligible to take high-paying jobs in IT-BPO companies," Villanueva said.

"The IT-BPO sector has been a steady driver of the economy, providing employment and generating huge revenues, and we hope to complement that by ensuring that a qualified pool of workforce is ready and available for the industry," he added.

Often referred to as the country's sunshine industry, BPAP said the IT-BPO industry is expected to bring in as much as $25 billion in revenues and provide employment to as many as 1.3 million.
The P20-million training fund will be tapped from TESDA's Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and will be shared equally by the CCAP, PSIA, ACPI and HIMOAP.

The agreement with CCAP will offer a finishing course for 1,000 prospective call center agents, who will receive a scholarship grant of P5,000 each.

A total of 170 slots will be offered for future software developers to train on Java, Legacy System and other programming software in partnership with PSIA. Each scholarship will cost P30,000, including the P500 assessment fee to be certified to become a TESDA Specialista.

For 1,000 aspiring animators, TESDA has allocated a scholarship amount of P10,500 each, including the assessment fee. This will be done in tandem with ACPI that is engaged with animation jobs for the United States and other foreign clients.

Some 500 prospective medical transcriptionists and others in related jobs who will train under HIMOAP will be allocated P10,500 each, including assessment fee.

Every successful hiring of a TESDA graduate mandates the BPO member to make a reimbursement of at least 10 percent of the cost of the scholarship, which will go to the Talent Development Fund, a revolving fund that will be used for the training of new scholars.

The Talent Development Fund will be developed, managed and utilized solely by the BPO member to sustain near-hire training.  The BPO member is also tasked to submit a regular report to TESDA for each program completed.

The deal forged between TESDA and BPAP binds both agencies to regularly exchange information on the IT-BPO sector labor market demand and supply useful for updating plans and priorities for talent development in the sector.

Both parties agreed to engage in social marketing and advocacy activities to disseminate information on talent development efforts.

"Training for the BPO sector guarantees sure jobs. Our graduates will no longer need to leave the country, they can be hired immediately after the training," Villanueva said.

“Training in this sector is one of the solutions to our unemployment problem. There is definitely a silver lining out there," he added

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