THE information and communications technology (ICT) industry’s employers need to develop the potential of workers amid severe personnel shortages challenging the industry worldwide, stakeholders said.

Despite high demand for ICT skills, the sector remains vulnerable if it does not develop the capabilities of the work force, they added. Around 1.8 million Filipinos are employed in the sector.

The CEO of job portal Fred Tshidimba said in a briefing Thursday that companies need to hire and maintain employees with growing their capability in mind.

“It is crucial today more than ever for companies to explore new ways to find, acquire, and retain employees with the right sets of skills not only to boost competitiveness but also enable companies to cushion themselves from talent acquisition challenges and the impending talent shortage,” he said.

Citing a report from the Korn Ferry Institute, the talent shortage in the ICT industry is a global problem that might peak by 2030 when 85.2 million jobs will remain unfilled worldwide, with over half of them in the Asia Pacific region.

Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) Board Trustee Jonathan D. de Luzuriaga said the Philippines has a sizeable workforce with basic capabilities who need to advance their skills in order to keep up with ASEAN neighbors.

“We are being challenged by other small countries that do not have the mass talent that the Philippines produces… If we could now address the quality issue and not just the quantity issue then I think the future is very bright for this country in the ICT aspect,” he said in the same briefing. is teaming up with the academe and non-government organizations (NGOs) to establish programs and training for those new to the ICT industry or those who have been longtime professionals. — Gillian M. Cortez