Bayan Academy, JPMorgan, TESDA partnership boosts workforce readiness initiatives via ‘strengthened’ PH tech-voc education.
In view of the immense importance of workforce competitiveness and readiness in meeting both emerging and evolving labor market needs in this innovation-driven global economy, social development organization Bayan Academy, in partnership with J.P. Morgan and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), takes the lead in efforts to strengthen tech-voc courses via the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (2018-2022 NTESDP).
The main objective of the plan is the development and implementation of the action and investment programs relative to the said NTESDP which involves eight priority industries: tourism, IT-BPM, real estate and construction, agriculture, manufacturing, electronics and electrical equipment, transportation, storage and communication, and health and wellness.
Broad impacts, expanded opportunities
According to the 2018-2022 NTESDP, tourism (+1.5 million), construction (+1.3 million) and IT-BPM (+0.8 million) industries are identified to grow “very rapidly” in terms of number of workers from 2017-2022. Thus, unmet labor demands caused by lack of skills or skills mismatch will entail huge economic losses and social impacts for the country.
Part of the action programming process is to consult the various stakeholders consisting of industry experts and leaders in reformulating TESDA’s current curricula into an ICT-anchored and enterprise-based curricula in order for it to become enterprise-led or demand-based.
Additionally, the initiative aims to help deepen TESDA’s collaboration with a larger and more diverse network of employers and industry leaders.
While the enhancement of tech-voc skills education in the country primarily aims to augment industry-driven labor demands in the near future, another critical objective of the NTESDP is to facilitate the creation of expanded employment viabilities and opportunities especially for the country’s most vulnerable communities.
Investing in human capital development
Aside from embedding the Filipino workforce with globally-competitive marketable skills through industry-suited tech-voc training programs, Dr. Eduardo A. Morato, Jr., chairman and president of Bayan Academy, emphasized public/ private-led partnerships as one of the core components in the achievement of economic prosperity, social equity, and expanded opportunities for all.
“This strategic collaboration among public-private partners and industry-stakeholders is indeed in the right direction. Bayan Academy is optimistically working towards the achievement of the national development objectives, one of which is to reduce, if not eliminate, poverty by driving inclusive growth. The proposed reform of national vocational education specifically aims to pilot the integration of IT training modules into the priority sectors with the aim of strengthening employability of skilled workers, creating higher value jobs, as well as expanding vocational education outreach and recruitment to the Philippines’ most under-served communities,” explained Dr. Morato.
As one of Bayan Academy’s long-term partners in social enterprise and development in the Philippines, J.P. Morgan underscored the importance of coordinated efforts between stakeholders.
“The tech-driven 4th Industrial Revolution clearly presents vast socio-economic growth opportunities for many Filipinos. And while the question of whether we are ready for the future of work continues to be asked of the academe, public and private institutions, we believe that truly effective interventions to address the skills gap can begin today through ongoing dialogue across industries and sectors. J.P. Morgan remains committed to helping bridge nationwide efforts to prepare the local workforce to compete at the global level,” said Carlos Ma. G. Mendoza, Senior Country Officer, J.P. Morgan Philippines.
Accordingly, to coordinate efforts in laying out the framework and work plan for the 2018-2022 NTESDP, Bayan Academy, JPMorgan and TESDA are holding consultations with industry stakeholders from the priority sectors. A total of 166 partners attended the initial group meeting last March. Among those that threw support to the ongoing consultation are the Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc., IT & Business Process Association Philippines, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, and Philippine Constructors Association.
Currently, the NTESDP is on its second phase wherein the needed learning delivery system designs for the proposed ICT-anchored and enterprise-based TVET curriculum/s (including the needed methodologies and materials) and the quality assurance and assessment are being discussed.
“To successfully ride the digital waves and changing economic tides, capacity-building measures are very crucial especially for countries vying for sustainable and inclusive national progress like the Philippines. To benefit from these fast growing sectors, the enhancement of national vocational training courses and methodologies is timely move that will help produce competitive, highly-skilled Filipino workers. Simply put, the national tech-voc program reforms, powered by key partners from both public and private sectors, will put into motion the urgently needed skills upgrades and systemic changes right at the very core of the country’s grassroots community levels,” concluded Dr. Morato.