Over 1 million jobs available to 2016 grads; returning OFWs also encouraged


By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent

Manila, Philippines – In a press statement released recently, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced the need for over 1.19-million workers this year.

In lieu of the coming graduation and job-seeking season, DOLE urged fresh graduates and low-and semi-skilled OFW-returnees to try and join the information-technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector where DOLE stressed, “The average pay is higher than entry-level wages, earn experience, and then after plan their careers.”

Speaking at the annual general membership meeting of the Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) recently, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz disclosed that the IT-BPM’s contact center alone is in need of about 225,000 workers this year and another 100,000 workers needed for the health outsourcing subsector – “the fastest growing subsector in the IT-BPM in terms of employment.”

“Some say there are no jobs in the country. Wrong. In the IT-BPM sector alone, industry players target 1.19 million direct employment this year. The sector is very well poised to meet this target at the rate IT-BPM is growing—which is faster than the national economy’s growth rate,” Baldoz said at the IBPAP annual general membership meeting.

“Consistently identified as one of the country’s key employment generators (KEGs), the IT-BPM sector is also recognized worldwide, not just for its ability to create and provide jobs, but more so for enabling government, other businesses, and institutions to achieve higher productivity and competitiveness on a sustained basis,” Baldoz added.

Baldoz also enumerated the available positions for each IT-BPM sector: call centers, global in-house centers (GICs), IT outsourcing, healthcare outsourcing and creative outsourcing which are all varied between voice and non-voice services and depends in areas of specializations.

For the call centers category alone, the following positions are available:

– IT helpdesk; technical support; financial services; healthcare support; sales; customer services; account receivables; online auction; direct response; taxi dispatch; employees/HR helpdesks; and media entertainment with needed specializations in multilingual languages such as English, French, Japanese, Singapore English, UK English, etc. as well as computer literacy and problem solving skills.

Baldoz also shared that the strong grip of IT-BPM sector in the country could be attributed to the “young, educated, and highly-skilled human resource whose hardworking trait and openness to learning give IT-BPM workers a competitive edge in the labor market.”

“The Philippines’ pool of human talents is one of the chief attractions for foreign investors to set up shop in the country for this provides them a very strong advantage,” Baldoz added.

According to DOLE, the IT-BPM sector is just one of the 22 industries/sectors that the DOLE along with the International Labor Organization (ILO) as well as the private sector has crafted human resource roadmaps.

“The HRD Roadmap, 2016-2022 contains labor supply and demand information and responsive, timely, and critical strategies that will support 22 industries/sectors in their current and future HR requirements. It identifies human resource constraints and solutions to improve human resource competitiveness in the industries,” Baldoz explained.

Another point stressed by DOLE and Baldoz regarding the IT-BPM sector is that the industry is not only centered through contact centers or call centers as what many believed, the sector has expanded to include global in-house center (GIC), IT outsourcing, healthcare outsourcing and creative outsourcing.
“IT-BPM cuts across industries—this is its distinct characteristic—so we have to make sure that Filipino workers are skilled and equipped for them to be ready to take advantage of the growth opportunities,” Baldoz furthered.

More Pinoys hired in January 2016
According to the latest Labor Force Survey released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the employment rate was up from 93.4 percent in January 2015 to 94.2 percent in January 2016.
In an article via Rappler, the said figure is equivalent to about 39.2 million employed Filipinos and an estimated 752,000 additional jobs produced during the survey period.

In another data by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the industry and services sectors produced 508,000 and 1.18 million jobs, separately.

“Our labor market was boosted by better employment opportunities in the industry and services sectors. This performance also brought the unemployment rate to its second lowest in the decade, with the lowest recorded in October last year,” Emmanuel Esguerra, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA director-general said.

“With employment growing faster at 2 percent relative to the labor force growth of 1.1 percent, the number of unemployed went down by 279,000 to 2.4 million during the period,” Esguerra added.

NEDA also disclosed that unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent in January 2016 from 6.6 percent in January 2015, with both genders in all age groups and in all education levels are all hired by the first quarter of 2016.

“With the favorable labor market situation in January 2016 and the continued slowdown in the national unemployment rate, the Philippine Development Plan target of 6.5-6.7 percent for unemployment rate in 2016 is likely to be achieved,” Esguerra said.