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March 30, 2006

Philippine School Offers Scholarships for Call Center Students

TMCnet News

(Asia Pulse Businesswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)

MANILA, March 28 Asia Pulse - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Monday to establish a Philippine School for Call Center and come up with a scholarship program for 100,000 young Filipinos to bolster the country's position as a center of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

In her brief message at the inauguration of the new call center facility of Sutherland Global Services at the Export-Import Plaza in Makati, the President said call center companies need world-class personnel and the operation of a "finishing school for call centers" would assure investors of a steady and adequate pool of trained workforce.

"I would like to congratulate Sutherland and their employees on their success here in the Philippines. Sutherlands expansion in Manila serves as a testament to the highly committed and professional workforce this country has to offer," she said.

TESDA Chairman Augusto Syjuco Jr. said the President has increased his agency's P50-million budget to P500 million (US$9.8 million) to ensure adequate funding for the call center scholarship program.

The over US$400 billion business processing outsourcing industry (BPO) worldwide has been growing by 11 per cent annually.

Many BPO firms prefer the Philippines over other countries because of the availability of a pool of talent, an environment conducive to the call center business and adequate infrastructure facilities.

Call centers in the country are a major employer. Starting with less than 2,000 employes in 2001, the BPO industry is expected to employ 100,000 Filipinos this year.

"Thank you for giving us employment and a share in the multibillion-peso BPO business," the President said.

A New York-based outsourcing firm, Sutherland Global Services set up its facility in the Philippines last year with only 500 employees. It has now 750 workers.

Sutherland officials informed the President that in six months, their companys workforce would double to 1,500.

"The Philippines continues to show great promise as a delivery location, offering advantages of high value at a competitive cost, along with a robust talent pool that will allow us to consistently meet the needs of our Global clients," Dilip Vellodi, chairman and CEO of Sutherland Global Services, said.

Sutherland has also made significant offshore expansion in India (Chennai, Mumbai and Kochi) and near-shore expansion in Canada (British Columbia and Quebec).

Sutherland currently employs over 12,000 professionals worldwide.

Sutherland manages a strong global client base, over 70 per cent of which are listed among the Fortune 500 in the Banking and Financial Services, Information Technology and Communications, Retail and Healthcare industries.

The company's service portfolio includes Process Consulting, Back Office Processing, Technology Support, Customer Care, and Account Managements services that address the entire "customer management lifecycle." The IT business, particularly call centers, has been the major contributor to the President's job creation program which targets to create 10 million jobs by 2010.

The President was accompanied by Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas and Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro.


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