PBEd urges business leaders, stakeholders to maximize TVET for workforce development

As the Philippine government intensifies its efforts to upskill and reskill Filipino workers to remain globally competitive, top business leaders and stakeholders convened to initiate collaborative efforts among the industry, government, and academe to maximize the potential of technical-vocational education and training (TVET).

In the Joint General Membership Meeting of Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) last May 10 in Makati City, industry leaders gathered under the theme ‘Reshaping the Image of Tech-Voc in the Philippines.’ PBEd  encouraged stakeholders to  forge partnerships and explore opportunities in TVET.

“Reshaping tech-voc and improving its quality means that industry must be more involved. For industries, we need to send the right signals on job demand and outlook, including communicating the opportunities available in the techvoc space. We need to make sure that the right competencies are captured in training programs, and we have to put our skin in the game by being more involved in work-based training,” PBEd President Chito Salazar said.

PBEd is currently supporting establishment of sector skills councils within the industry through its A Future that Works program with the support of the Australian Government. The councils oversee the production of labor market intelligence reports and data-driven research to provide timely and relevant information on jobs in demand by specific industries.

To encourage private-sector led work-based training and promote TVET as career choice for the youth, PBEd is also implementing the YouthWorks PH program in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development. Since 2018, the program has already provided over 15,000 TVET-related work-based training opportunities to unemployed, out-of-school youth. Almost 1,000 youths have since graduated from the program, where 70% have been absorbed right after training.

“We are grateful for PBEd’s partnership in serving as the vessel to train unemployed and out-of-school youth through the YouthWorks PH initiative. We encourage other industry stakeholders to act as conduits for TVET programs. Let us work collectively to ensure that Filipinos receive the training and certification to be job-ready, globally competitive and 21st century lifelong learners,” said Director General Danilo P. Cruz of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

According to Director General Cruz, TESDA plans to establish Regional TVET Innovation Centers (RTIC) to upgrade technical-vocational education and support workers retraining in light of technological advancements. These RTICs will serve as innovation hubs, fostering collaboration between industries, agencies, firms, educational bodies, and research institutions while also promoting research and development. The aim is to transition workers at risk from automation into roles requiring more human-intensive skills, aligning with the demands of the 4th industrial revolution.

“Only through mutual learning and a combination of resources from industry, government, and academia can we fully maximize TVET’s role in supporting economic growth and development. We must continue to empower our citizens with high-quality and relevant skills training and do our part in the national skills development effort,” PBEd Chairman Ramon Del Rosario said.