THE development of talent is critical to the competitiveness of the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector, and will require a coordinated effort from government agencies responsible for developing worker skills, an industry association official said.

Ana Maria S. Bongato, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines former executive director of talent development, said the pace of change has become more rapid since the pandemic, making skills development more and more crucial.

“We have to work faster and together… companies must continue to intervene to prepare new hires for actual work to be done. (The) quality of talent needs to be addressed for us to be competitive,” Ms. Bongato said during a May 13 forum with members of the industry, also known as the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.  

Citing the findings of the National Skills Mapping Survey for the IT-BPM industry, Ms. Bongato said the preparedness of graduates for work in animation, game development, software, and health information management is low.

She added that the survey indicates that smaller companies do not have the resources to partner with academic institutions to improve curriculum development or offer internships.

“Deliberate effort by government agencies is crucial to working as one in developing surveys and programs that would help the various sectors. Soft skills continue to be one of the main concerns of the sectors, which include communication, work ethic, problem-solving, and critical thinking,” Ms. Bongato said.

“Government agencies working with the sectors should have a consolidated effort, so that more coordinated programs may be developed from planning to execution and review. Streamlining government agencies’ efforts in working with the sectors will result in more coordinated programs that may be developed from planning to execution and review and evaluation,” she said.

The National Skills Mapping survey was launched in November 2021 and ended in January. Its objective was to determine the skills requirements of the IT-BPM industry and evaluate university course offerings. The study was organized by the Board of Investments and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The survey recommended courses such as a Bachelor of Science in entertainment and multimedia computing for animation and game development, and BS courses in business and information technology specializing in service management. The Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Department of Information and Communications Technology also recommended offering nursing informatics as a subject.

CHED Director Cherrie Melanie Ancheta-Diego said the study opened up many possible courses of action, calling it a “spark of our continuing conversation” with the industry. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave