Impact sourcing boosts job opportunities in rural areas

Carlo Lorenciana (The Freeman) - June 4, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The global population in need of employment is increasingly growing and generally those people living in rural low-income parts of the world are mostly the ones prohibited from traditional employment.

Impact sourcing is the solution to bring outsourced jobs such as business process outsourcing, call centers and other back office works to the most disadvantaged people particularly in the Philippines, Guia Bengzon said during Monday’s ICT/BPM conference held as part of the Cebu Business Month celebration this June.

Bengzon is the Impact Sourcing lead for Accenture Philippines BPO Service Delivery Operations, working to promote the growing of rural BPOs to respond to the industry’s need for a new source of quality, cost-effective human talent supply.

Bengzon said industry players have to think of how the outsourcing sector can make a new model through considering social impact as vital part of its overall value plan.

Providing people jobs in the thriving outsourcing industry is one way to solve the high jobless rate specifically in the rural areas and in the same way give businesses access to the "talented labor pool".

Impact Sourcing is a feasible business model in the information technology industry wherein outsourcing companies harness the untapped skills of the potential local residents in provinces especially the youth to giving them job opportunities.

Major outsourcing firms in the country should try to understand the extent of the social and business impact and benefits this initiative could bring to the industry, leading to the inclusive state.

"This is all about inclusive outsourcing for sustainable development," Bengzon said, "and in fact this is an idea already happening for the last five to ten years."

She added that this could be more than of a corporate social responsibility because it also assures community development. "This is helping the individuals in low communities. It is beyond the usual supply chain in the urban center."

For instance, she cited South Africa as one of the top paradigms in Impact Sourcing globally. South Africa is the largest BPO market in Africa.

While Impact Sourcing is the key to job creation and inclusive growth in the industry, the Accenture official said certain challenges need to be addressed, emphasizing that such business model needs access to the right talent.

"We don’t need to have training centers, we can tap the state colleges and universities to become training hub for them," Bengzon said adding that potential employees should acquire minimum educational attainment standards and the right skills to provide quality service.

Impact Sourcing Service Providers or the traditional outsourcing firms must give the right training activities for professional development, she added.

Skills gaps should also be addressed to make people employable when they go out of the institution and eventually make employment access very easy and improve the economic condition of the local community.

Cross-sector convergence among the corporate, government and non-profit sector should hold on to the roles and responsibilities in the initiative, allowing IS opportunities to grow quickly, Bengzon concluded.


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