65,000 'near-hires' to benefit from TESDA-BPAP tie - up

21 October 2011

A total of 65,000 prospective employees will reap the fruits of free training from the P500 million worth of scholarships that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is infusing to help them find jobs in the information technology - business process outsourcing (IT- BPO) industry.

On Thursday, TESDA through Director General Joel Villanueva and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), through its Chairman Alfredo Ayala, signed a memorandum of agreement for the use of P400 million to train the so-called near-hires of the IT-BPO sector. Signing ceremonies were held at the Stream Global Services at the 12th Floor of PBCOM Tower, Ayala Avenue in Makati City.

Near-hires are applicants who have applied for jobs in the IT-BPO sector but fell short of the requirements, and thus, require more training to meet the industry standard.

BPAP member associations have pledged to absorb at least 70 percent of the scholars after finishing their course.

The amount was part of the P500 million TESDA commitment to the BPO sector from President Benigno Aquino III's stimulus package for pre-employment training, re-tooling of incoming workers in the IT-BPO sector, and training of trainors.

The remaining P100 million has been set aside for the training of trainors and students, who need longer education to be qualified employee in the IT-BPO sector.

"Training will give the scholars the crucial skill sets and help improve the odds for them to be hired," Villanueva said.

"By creating a pool of qualified, globally competitive, and job-ready workforce needed by IT-BPO companies, we are also able to address the talent supply gaps that the burgeoning industry is experiencing today," he added.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the government resources poured in are reasonable investment to rev up employment and the revenue potential of the IT-BPO sector.

“This is the kind of partnership and support that the government is pursuing now in 2011, and for the remaining years of the Aquino administration,” Abad said.

The Budget chief announced that the Aquino administration will embark on the same government-industry partnership involving five primary industries identified as drivers of employment and growth, namely, agriculture and fisheries, tourism, general infrastructure, semiconductor and electronics, and BPO."

Villanueva said the training will beef up the sector’s work force and make them employable to IT-BPO firms.

“The Philippines has made a mark all over the world for producing call center and BPO workers who have exemplary language and technical skills and work ethics.  We will continue to enhance this,” Villanueva said.

TESDA designated BPAP to help implement P400 million worth of scholarships under the agency's Industry-Based Training for Work Scholarship Program (I-TWSP).

The amount will be used for pre-employment training  of near-hires to get them actually hired in  member companies of BPAP and its partner associations such as the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP), Animation Council of the Philippines Inc (ACPI), Game Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP), and National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

These associations will engage companies and training institutions with TESDA-registered programs to undertake the training of qualified near-hires.

BPAP-member associations have committed an employment rate of at least 70 percent of the total graduates within six months after they finished the course.

In line with the government's thrust of creating a public-private partnership to augment the limited public funds and share expertise, BPAP vowed to establish and maintain a training development fund, which will be used for future trainings of near-hires within the industry.

The amount that will be set aside by BPAP will be at least:  20% of the total training cost for each graduate hired in the case of call center training, and 10% of the total training cost for each graduate hired in medical transcription, software, animation and game development.

The training development fund will be managed solely by BPAP and will be utilized exclusively for the training of additional near-hires and for the promotion of training programs.

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