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PIA Press Release

Siquijor training cum livelihood project kicks off

by Rizalie A. Calibo

Siquijor (5 June) -- The local office of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is coming up with a project that aims to help job seekers in the province enhance their skills on electronic servicing and personality development which are very essential in employment.

Dubbed Siquijor Training-Cum Employment Project (STEP), the program is strongly supported by the Siquijor Association of PESO (Public Employment Service Office) Managers, the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority, the office of the Congressman and the provincial government of Siquijor.

STEP offers a free training for "probable and trainable jobseekers" from all towns of the province and promises trainees a sure employment in call centers, says Provincial Extension Officer Maria Theresa Tanquiamco in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency here.

She said Teletech, a call center company which now employes more than 100 call center agents in Dumaguete City and is catering applicants from this province is the identified Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner. The program is open to unlimited number of applicants for screening but is piloting only less than a hundred trainees to go with the number of computers that Siquijor State College provides. Students with at least 2 years of college for part-time jobs; fresh college graduates; underemployed or unemployed people with at least two years in college, professionals seeking a second career can apply as long as they have basic computer knowledge.

Tanquiamco said STEP was conceived out of the fact that many of jobseekers from Siquijor lack the skills that most employers need. She said Telectech has been considering applicants from this province but that their poor English communication skills, low self-confidence and lack of technical skills hamper them from getting hired.

STEP requires some P171,000 that will be shared by the Office of the Congressman and the Provincial Government of Siquijor at P85,500 each.

Considered one of the brightest spots in our economy and symbols of our new competitiveness, call centers are getting the full support of the government. Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has pledged to support the growth of call centers Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) with policies that encourage the location of the right infrastructure and policies that upgrade the technical skills of our human resources, particularly at the grade school, high school and technical levels where we have made English the medium of instruction.

Some P500 Million pesos in scholarships has been made available for "call center finishing schools" to aid both aspiring call center workers and BPO companies. (PIA) [top]

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