Philippine BPO companies are expected to add 70,000 jobs and generate $1 billion in revenues in 2018 as the workforce acquires new skills to survive the shift towards artificial intelligence (AI), according to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).
CCAP said the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector will expand by 7 to 9 percent this year, higher than the 6 to 7 growth forecast for the global outsourcing industry. Businesses continue to find the Philippines an attractive location for outsourcing due to tax incentives, good English proficiency of Filipinos and high empathy for customers.
CCAP chairman Benedict Hernandez said the country remains the largest destination for contact center services in the world, with current job growth reflecting the growing influence of AI. The majority of call center jobs are middle to high-skilled.
The shift to automation and AI could happen in as early 3 years, so the government continues to urge the BPO sector to ensure that workers could adapt to the changes. CCAP president Jojo Uligan explained that information technology (IT) courses are still in demand, but the sector is also hiring mathematics and statistics professionals for data analytics. CCAP expects BPO revenues to reach the $13 billion target in 2017 (from $12.77 billion in 2016) and $14 billion this year.