DTI and Google to enhance skills of Filipinos

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

In a move poised to significantly bolster the proficiency of the Filipino workforce, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has aligned with Google Philippines to propel the Google Career Certificate (GCC) scholarships program.

The initiative was unveiled during the U.S. Trade Mission meeting at Malacañang Palace on March 11, 2024.

DTI Secretary Fred Pascual heralded this partnership as a vital step towards cultivating the crucial 21st-century skills within the Philippine workforce.

“Whether you are a micro, small and medium enterprise, an owner or employee, or any individual who seeks a more significant job opportunity, today’s success requires 21st-century skills,” Secretary Pascual articulated, emphasizing the significance of this collaborative endeavor in upskilling and reskilling the workforce.

Building upon a robust foundation, the DTI and Google Philippines are set to expand the reach of these pivotal online courses.

“We already built a strong partnership with Google, and we are pleased that through our Negosyo Centers nationwide, we can leverage these online courses to reach more stakeholders across the country,” Pascual added, indicating the widespread impact anticipated from this program.

Previously, Google Philippines, along with DTI and other partners, provided over 40,000 scholarships to a diverse range of beneficiaries. These included Filipino youth job seekers, employees of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), entrepreneurs from marginalized and underrepresented communities, and government employees.

This initiative aims to enhance digital skills in areas such as cybersecurity, IT support, data analytics, and digital marketing.

This year, the program’s ambition scales new heights as more GCCs are slated for distribution across the DTI’s virtual campuses, encompassing 1,300 Negosyo Centers across 16 regions. The DTI offices, in collaboration with local government units, will facilitate these centers to aid learners in successfully completing their courses.

DTI’s role is critical in nominating qualified candidates who will then receive the GCCs through Coursera. This prioritization aims to empower business owners and their staff in the digitalization journey, along with supporting women, out-of-school youth, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and those currently unemployed or underemployed.

The program echoes the Philippines’ growing impetus towards digitalization.

Sapna Chadha, Vice President for Google Southeast Asia and South Asia Frontier, highlighted the tangible gains from Google’s investments in the country.

“Our commitment has yielded significant economic benefits for the Philippines with our network investments alone that boosted the GDP by U.S. $14 billion and created 93,000 jobs. These outcomes motivate us to further deepen our collaboration with the Philippines and our efforts as a partner in building a robust digital economy,” Chadha said.