ICT players worry about quality of workforce amid pandemic, cite triple-helix formula as solution

·2 min read

PLAYERS in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector are deeply concerned of the quality of graduates that will enter the workforce in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are definitely worried. From the business process management (BPM) side, a little bit but on the ICT side, very much. These graduating students need more practical and hands-on experience,” said tech-entrepreneur Mike Cubos, who also owns a call center firm based in Cordova, Cebu. “If the talent quality is low, we have to spend months for training, which is an additional cost to us.”

Cubos noted this concerns small ICT firms that are currently struggling to survive this pandemic and have no spare capital to spend for more additional training.

Students, especially those nearing completion of their studies, have been robbed of the opportunity to do on-the-job training due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since last year, students have been confined to completing their courses online.

“The short-term intervention is to accept these applicants and conduct training even with additional cost. Some ICT firms have also incorporated this situation to their new business plan. Some also collaborated with the academe,” said Cubos.

While the current situation continues to hurt small players, Cubos said the way forward is to get back to the time-tested formula of the “triple-helix” involving the government, academe and industry framework.

“This was the same formula that jumpstarted the BPM industry in Cebu,” he said.

Triple-helix formula

The Cebu ICT-BPM Organization (CIB.O) has recently embarked on a simplified version of industry-government-academe collaboration or the triple helix approach, to enable innovation and ecosystem development as a way of reversing the sluggish growth of the IT-BPM industry.

The group signed a triple helix memorandum of understanding among representatives of the industry, academe and government on the fourth day of this year’s Transformation Summit.

CIB.O president Pert Cabataña said the streamlined structure will focus on top development priorities and specific targeted end results, which include arresting the slowdown and promoting the growth of the industry.

“A healthy ecosystem is the result of symbiotic interactions among members of that ecosystem. In an ideal helix-supported, innovation-driven ecosystem, the members of the triple helix play their respective roles while at the same time being open to cross-playing the other’s roles,” he said in a statement. (KOC)

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