Sitel Academy: Empowering tomorrow's BPO workforce

A source of hope for everyone, including those in the disadvantaged and marginalized sector

While there is no shortage of job vacancies in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, filling them up remains a challenge as many graduates and workers lack the necessary skills BPO firms are looking for.

Sitel Philippines has long been responding to this challenge with its Sitel Academy, a pioneering free BPO upskilling program for students, near-hires, and individuals who are usually deprived of good career opportunities. Launched in 2007, Sitel Academy has a curriculum that focuses on developing well-rounded skills, touching on both technical and non-technical core skills like BPO fundamentals, communications, empathic listening, and logical thinking.

"Sitel Academy helps bridge the job skills gap or the skills that employers are looking for and the training and experience that candidates possess. We provide free intensive technical and skills training for the disadvantaged and marginalized sector of the workforce," director of Sitel Academy and Sitel Philippines’ talent acquisition Rowel Villalobos says.

"It seeks to strengthen inclusivity and diversity in the BPO workplace by providing gainful employment for these special jobseekers."

Villalobos adds that Sitel Academy is a strategic capacity-building program that aims to help the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector retain its longstanding record as a top employment generator and key economic contributor in the Philippines.

Sitel Academy screens applicants at the PESO Pasay Mega Tourism Job Fair

To expand its reach, Sitel Academy has formed partnerships with local government units, foundations, training centers, sororities, and educational institutions that include TESDA, Far Eastern University,Rizal Technological University,Tarlac State University,University of Baguio, among others. It is also working with government organizations like DOLE and PESO. Sitel Academy has over 70 active partners in the local government sector and academe.

Since launching, Sitel Academy has trained over 45,000 jobseekers. In 2022, out of the 16,700 people it trained, 6,045 were hired. For this year, Sitel Academy targets to train 15,000 jobseekers, with 20% or 8,000 of them ending up being hired.

Open to anyone

According to Villalobos, Sitel Academy is open to any potential BPO workforce talent, regardless of whether or not they'll pursue a career in Sitel Group.

"Graduates of the program are free to explore employment in other BPO companies. Sitel Academy contributes to the industry by enhancing professionalism, institutionalizing best practices and maintaining a high standard of knowledge and skills among IT-BPM workers," he says.

"Our genuine people program not only serves our business goals and objectives, but also the interests and welfare of the communities where Sitel Philippines operates."

In the near future, Sitel Academy is looking at implementing new courses that will help improve talent acquisition, focusing on best in class applicant experience, speeding up the hiring process, and applicant retention.