On March 22, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippine Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) launched a new program that will equip key TESDA officials with “Futures Thinking” skills and tools to help the agency better adapt to future uncertainties.
The event marks the beginning of the development of TESDA’s first Futures Thinking Framework, which will be crafted with the expertise of the Center for Engaged Foresight and the Education Development Center through USAID’s Opportunity 2.0 Program. In the next five to six months, around 30 select TESDA leaders will participate in workshops and sessions to develop the framework, equipping them with strategic foresight skills and tools.
Futures Thinking is an approach to planning that helps organizations analyze their past and present more closely. This helps them identify patterns, see emerging threats and opportunities, build potential scenarios, as well as apply labor market information in crafting policies. Through the discipline and lens of Futures Thinking, TESDA will be able to make changes now to prepare itself and its technical-vocational education and training (TVET) programs to adapt to uncertainty in the future.
“One way of ensuring TVET remains responsive to risks, opportunities, and changes the future may bring is for actors to come together. This is why USAID is also honored to be an instrumental player that kickstarts the development of TESDA’s Futures Thinking Framework,” said USAID Philippines Acting Deputy Mission Director Jeff Goebel.
“With the capacity of TESDA strengthened, the Philippine TVET sector becomes agile and future-ready to the dynamic changes in the education, industry, and employment sector. TVET policies and programs will be demand-driven, relevant, forward-looking, and will be able to create a positive impact on even more young people in the Philippines,” added Goebel.
USAID has been working with TESDA through its Opportunity 2.0 Program in an effort to transition more out-of-school youth to pursue further education, get jobs, or start their own business. At least 500 TESDA trainers have been trained to roll this new content out to more youth across the country. Through their collaborative initiative against COVID-19 in 2020, TESDA and USAID have also enrolled hundreds of out-of-school youth into the TESDA Online Program, many of whom have gone on to work at new jobs and start their own businesses.