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Contact-center jobs to grow despite AI entry

Even as the contact center industry moves towards artificial intelligence, jobs in the local contact centers will continue to grow with the bulk of work leaning to mid- to high-complex type.

In a press conference Wednesday, Contact Center Association of the Philippines Chairman Benedict Hernandez said the industry would not be losing jobs to AI as demand in the global market would continue to grow with the country maintaining its significant share in the global mart.

From a total of 751,000 direct employment in 2016, jobs in the domestic contact center industry is forecasted to reach 1.18 million by 2022.

This means the industry will add around 70,000 jobs annually, according to Hernandez.

“Fortunately, our market globally is growing. And fortunately, the share of the Philippines in the global market will continue to grow. So there’s enough growth for us. We are not also going to decline in terms of industry size. We’re going to keep growing. The contact center sector, over the next six years, is forecasted to add 70,000 jobs a year,” he said.

“But the 70,000 people are different. You’re not anymore of the same profile requirement we used to recruit before because now the complexity is going up,” Hernandez noted.
    
Mid- to high-complex types of work currently share 53 percent of the total jobs in the contact center industry. This is expected to climb to 73 percent by 2022.
    
“The number of jobs that are simple are actually shrinking,” he added noting that the simple type of work will be done by AI, in which companies are now investing into.
    
Hernandez said the country needs to scale up its human resources for the contact center industry as bulk of the opportunity for growth will be from mid- to high-complex types of work.
    
Meanwhile, CCAP’s annual conference Contact Islands will tackle crucial trends for the industry such as AI, robotics, analytics, and other key technologies.
    
CCAP President Jojo Uligan said this year’s Contact Islands will gather around 300 industry leaders to discuss how the Philippines will position itself in the next years in providing customer experience.
    
The conference is slated Oct. 11 to 12, 2017 at Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort and Spa.