Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, noted that around 65,000 "near-hires" are set to benefit from a training program worth P500 million to be rolled out by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in partnership with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has also announced that its Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) will be offering free training modules to assess and improve the skills of would-be BPO professionals.
"It is good that these efforts are in place to fill in the talent supply gaps currently faced by the IT-BPO industry. But these solutions are only for the short term," said Angara, who also chairs the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).
He continued, "To ensure the continued success of the industry, we need to equip more of our people with skills in high-value operations like financial analytics, healthcare management, engineering, animation, and software development."
BPAP said that though the voice sector continues to dominate, non-voice is fast expanding in services on back office, health care, IT, engineering, among others. The industry association also anticipates 20 percent to 25 percent growth in the sub-sector within the next five years, describing it as the future driver of industry growth.
Angara cited a joint report from Tholons and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) that showed the local software development industry growing by around 28 percent by the end of 2010, hitting export revenues of up to US$725 million compared to US$568 million in 2009.
"We must capitalize on this momentum so that we can finally usher in a knowledge-based, IT-driven economy and improve welfare across the nation," said Angara.