Develop workers ‘to stay globally competitive’

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LOCAL companies need to continually develop the skills of its workers to remain competitive in an open Asean economy, said a top official of a human resource solutions company.

John Clements Consultants, Inc. vice president and managing director Grace Sorongon said Cebu businesses in particular need long-term investment in the development of their workforce to boost competitiveness in the global market.

“Continuous workforce development is a good preparation in the future because if there would be chances to expand in the region, you now have people internally that are highly-skilled and competitive to deploy in other countries,” said Sorongon.


Asean integration

“Companies should invest more in workforce learning and development so that the whole organization would be ready to face the much stiffer global market competition, especially when this Asean market integration takes place,” she said.

Sorongon along with other top company officials were in Cebu last week for the opening of John Clements’ second office in Cebu at the i2 Building in Cebu I.T. Park.
She said it is Cebu’s continuously improving local economy that prompted them to expand operations here.

John Clements is a human resource solutions company that handles professional manpower requirements from the business process outsourcing, manufacturing, construction and telecommunications sectors. It opened its Cebu office in 2008.

The Cebu offices handle recruitment operations. Sorongon said they are going all over the country to look for individuals for supervisory to mid-management positions for their clients in Cebu.

“The vision for Cebu is to become our next Manila hub. For now, we are only doing recruitment operations here but within the year we will slowly introduce our other services like leadership development, executive coaching and other trainings to improve organizations,” said Sorongon.

She said there is still room for improvement for Cebu as far as employment and recruitment are concerned as there are some sectors such as those in construction and manufacturing that still struggle in making decisions for the company.

“Cebu is not yet ready. Companies who are in need of people should have to elevate their status in the aspects of employment and recruitment as well as in the standards of leadership and management skills,” she said.

Sorongon, a former president of the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), said the goal of PMAP is to help the government prepare the Filipino workforce on massive training to retain and keep employees.


PMAP reported that in terms of competitiveness benchmarking for human capital, the Philippines is in the top five but the last in the original members of Asean.

The World Economic Forum Human Capital Report 2013 ranked the Philippines 66th in the world and fifth in the Asean, behind its neighbors with an overall index of -0.161.

Among Asean countries, Singapore ranked first and third in the world, with an overall index of 1.232; followed by Malaysia (22nd globally), with an overall index of 0.644; Thailand (44th globally), 0.158; Indonesia (53rd globally), 0.001.

Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia came in sixth to eighth places, with an overall ranking of -0.202, -0.297 and -0.505, respectively. (Their global rankings were 70, 80 and 96, respectively). Two other Asean countries, Myanmar and Brunei Darussalam, were not ranked.

The five original members of Asean or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Other members are Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Myanmar, Lao PDR and Cambodia.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 11, 2014.


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