With the Philippines’ rising unemployment and the ever-growing number of Filipino professionals leaving the country to work somewhere else, the success of offshore call center outsourcing operators in the Philippines have given a significant boost to the country’s economy.
Much of the growth of the call center industry in the Philippines is due to the country’s large resource of English-speaking individuals and low labor costs. From only 10 offshore call center outsourcing operators in the Philippines in 2001, there are now more than 100 call centers in the country. Call center outsourcing operators comprise of 80 percent of business process outsourcing players in the country.
About 200,000 Filipinos, mostly young professionals in their 20s, are working in call centers across the country. In 2005, offshore call center outsourcing operators in the Philippines generated revenues amounting to US$2.3 billion, an increase of approximately US$1 billion from the preceding year and industry analysts are projecting another US$1 billion increase in sales for 2006.
The Philippine government predicts that offshore call center outsourcing operators in the Philippines will be generating 2 million call center jobs for Filipinos by 2010, to employ about 2 percent of the entire Filipino population. This confident outlook lies in the strong advantage of call center outsourcing in terms of workforce.Particularly, the Filipino’s hospitable and caring nature is one of the country’s competitive advantages making Filipinos ideal call center professionals.
As the growing call center industry encounter an increase in demand, mainly from the United States market, every offshore call center outsourcing operator in the Philippines are aggressively recruiting competent college-educated individuals to fill in the increasing number of call center seat requirements in. Fortunately, for call center outsourcing operator, the country has plenty of English-speaking and IT skilled individuals that are qualified to take on the call center jobs.
Majority of Filipinos are fluent in English primarily because the country had been a colony of the United States for several decades. Filipinos are very familiar with American culture and language, which makes it easy for offshore call center outsourcing operator in the Philippines to train Filipino agents.
To strengthen this advantage in English language skills and further make offshore call center outsourcing operator in the Philippines more competitive, the Philippine government is promoting English language proficiency and its benefits towards securing good careers. The chief language of instruction in Filipino schools is English. Business groups besides are also joining in the effort of encouraging the use of English language.
Additionally, the Philippine government in response to an English skill enhancement campaign by offshore call center outsourcing operators in the Philippines will be granting generous funds to provide 100-hour English training courses to interested individuals in the effort to make available a steady supply of competent English-speaking workers.
Manila has also seen an increasing number of private schools that have opened to offer English training and call center courses to equip students with the necessary English communication skills and prepare them for employment in a call center operator. Students receive training to familiarize them with American accent, idioms and slang.
In addition to efforts in reinforcing the English skills of the Filipino workforce, the government supports the call center industry in other ways such as the provision of tax incentives and other concessions to offshore call center outsourcing operator in the Philippines. Developments in technological infrastructures in cities outside of Manila are also part of the plan to boost the call center industry and the BPO industry as a whole. Such technological advancements have already resulted in the establishment of offshore call center outsourcing operators in the key cities of Cebu, Davao and Bacolod in the southern part of the country as well as in the north in the areas of Baguio and Laguna.
The priority attention that the Philippine government gives the call center sector comes from the recognition that this industry, which has already proven to be one of the largest sources of revenue for the country in recent years, is one of the critical business areas that will drive valuable and steady growth to the country in the years ahead.
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