Over 50k jobs at risk amid rapid digitalization
At least 50,000 jobs in the Philippines could be obsolete in the next three to four years amid rapid digitalization, according to global management consultancy Kearney.
“We have done a study on this and there’s a percentage of jobs that will probably become obsolete in the next three to four years. So when we were calculating it, it came out to about 50,000 to 100,000 jobs that are being netted off,” Kearney Philippines country head Marco de la Rosa said in a media roundtable.
Amid rapid global digitalization, Kearney anticipates that new job opportunities will be created, but some current jobs might be put at risk. It emphasized that talent demand would primarily focus on tech-savvy and digital literate individuals.
“Despite the Philippines’ commendable performance in terms of financial attractiveness, there is a notable underdevelopment in its digital foundations, leading to gap in digital resonance - a metric which measures the digital skills of the labor force and digital outputs.
The emergence of accessible and advanced technology has made it more cost-effective and efficient to replace jobs that are traditionally done by humans with new tools, and one of the industries we see that is vulnerable to this is the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry,” the consultancy said.
Dela Rosa said that among the sectors that may see obsolete jobs in the next few years are the retail sector, as well as back office roles that require traditional data entry and manual type processes.
“And so that cuts across all sectors and we’re already seeing the impacts of that in financial institutions, telco and the likes. So the important thing here is how to get to that next level of skills so that you know the value add is incrementally harder,” de la Rosa said.
As the Philippine currently accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the global BPO workforce, Kearney emphasized that this industry would be hard-hit by the change in employment trends.
“If the country wants to retain its spot in the BPO global market, it needs to re-strategize its overall approach,” Kearney said.
To address this gap, Kearney stressed the Philippines needs to improve its digital foundations to adapt to rapid digitalization and it is important for the government and academics to collaborate and recalibrate the educational foundation to meet the needs of the global talent demand, while enterprises should re-strategize operations and their hiring approach.
It said the government also needs to provide incentives and create an attractive working environment to increase sector attractiveness, leverage private-public partnerships to develop future talent, and leverage key success factors from other leading countries on upskilling its workforce.
He said new jobs are also seen to rise from the evolution of current roles.