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PSIA, IPA of Japan to boost careers of IT professionals through IT Skills Standards

(Manila, Philippines, February 15, 2013) — In a move to further improve and expand employment in the country’s information technology and software development industry, the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) and IT Promotion Agency of Japan (IPA) announced a mutual cooperation agreement for the Skill Standards for IT Professionals (ITSS).

The ITSS framework is a career model supporting IT and software organizations in talent development and ensuring sustainable growth. Through the recently signed agreement, PSIA hopes to reach more companies and set a more globally unified career structure, making it easier for IT professionals to connect with employers and secure jobs.

“With the introduction of the ITSS, an IT professional’s skill level can be recognized globally. This can enhance business cooperation,” said IPA Vice Chairman Hisaya Tanaka, who believes ITSS-implementing countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia can mutually benefit from the partnership as well.

Implementing the ITSS model can open up more job opportunities for Filipinos with an IT and software development background. Through a widely-recognized career framework, the ITSS can help build a qualified pool of manpower for jobs as database administrator, software quality assurance analyst, application support analyst, programmers, web and software developer, analytics trainee, compliance officer, network engineer, systems coordinator, quality specialist, analyst programmer, software tester, automation and QA tester, technical support specialist, and IT manager, among many others.

PSIA seeks to enhance the industry’s competitive edge by making the ITSS more widespread in the country and complement efforts to increase the Philippines’ current one percent share of the global IT market. “With this common framework, it’s possible to talk on the same level, making it easier and faster to assess different skills and direct the right people to the right jobs,” said Beng Coronel, PSIA director for capability development.

PSIA and IPA also welcomed the creation of an ITSS User Group. The eight software development and IT member companies are AWS, BlastAsia, CAI-STA, Core Technologies, Geodata, IPI, Pointwest Technologies, and Tsukiden Global Solutions, Inc. Three years into the adoption of the ITSS model in the Philippines, PSIA believes that the next step is to create an ITSS User Group which will enable member companies to support the implementation and adoption of the framework.

“The ITSS User Group aims to promote better understanding and support for organizations adopting the ITSS, or indices that identify and systemize practical abilities for IT,” said Nora Terrado, president of PSIA. These indices include business capability, common definition of job career, and level assessment.

“The establishment of the ITSS User Group will allow us to share best practices among member companies. The goal now is to make it widespread, because the benefit (of the program) will only be felt when the industry has fully adopted ITSS,” Coronel said.

Coronel stated that the ITSS User Group members will be supported through various training and activities such as ITSS seminars, workshops, and discussions related to sharing adoption and implementation practices. During the inaugural meeting, member companies elected Ma. Rosario Ahorro of Pointwest Technologies and Michel Cecil Anson of Tsukiden Global Solutions, Inc. as chairman and vice chairman of the ITSS User Group, respectively.

Consultants from UP ITDC, the new ITSS training arm of the PSIA, are IPA-trained and will handle the training for the next round of ITSS member companies. “We’re expecting at least three more companies to join us in the ITSS project this year,” said UP ITDC Assistant VP Dr. Jaime Caro.

In 2012, PSIA reported a 37 percent growth in revenues as well as an 11 percent growth in employment. By further promoting a common IT skills framework, both organizations hope to increase these numbers, specifically for the IT and software management and development professionals in the Philippines.
Optimistic about the growth of its sector, PSIA continues to invest on resources to promote the growth and global competitiveness of the country’s IT and software development industry.

About the Business Processing Association of the Philippines
The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) is the enabling association for the IT-BPO and GIC (global in-house center) industry in the Philippines. BPAP serves as the one-stop information and advocacy gateway for the industry. With approximately 300 industry and support-industry members, including five associations—the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Software Industry Association—BPAP plays a pivotal role in sustaining rapid growth of the IT-BPO and GIC industry by working to ensure an enduring supply of high quality labor, supporting service innovation, and providing country visibility.

BPAP assists investors in setting up operations easily and quickly in the Philippines. Relevant research, introductions to key government and industry officials, and a series of briefings at each step of the investment process ensure a seamless development process. Ongoing support is provided through a wide variety of initiatives, including programs for HR development, business development, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.

About the Philippine Software Industry Association
The Philippine Software Industry Association, a partner association of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the Philippine software industry. It is proud to have a collaborative ecosystem of mature small and medium companies experts in niche technology areas; highly English-proficient, adaptive, and customer-oriented workforce; robust and secure ICT infrastructure; and cost advantage for high-value end-to-end solutions. For more information on PSIA’s activities and projects, visit www.psia.org.ph.