/ 18 December 2022

THE PHILIPPINE Business for Education urged concerned government agencies and stakeholders to double down their efforts and support lifelong learning programs to address the learning gaps and jobs-skills mismatch in the country and make Filipinos more employable.

“With the changing economic landscape and advances in technology requiring a highly-skilled labor force, there is a need to align the needs of the industry to the skills and training of our workforce to make them more employable. Through skills partnerships training involving industries, academe and the national and local government, our workforce will be better prepared for the jobs of the future,” said PBEd Executive Director Justine Raagas.

President Bongbong Marcos Jr. recently emphasized the importance of upskilling and implementing a better system that will make Filipinos more diversely-skilled and competitive.

The World Bank also reported policies supporting reskilling, education and training will be central to reducing poverty and inequality, and set the stage for a vibrant and inclusive recovery for the country.

“Skills are the currency of the future. All sectors must work together in building pathways for lifelong learning to plug skills gaps and set up our workforce for greater productivity and competitiveness,” Raagas said.

“To ensure sustainability of the programs, PBEd continues to push for policies that will provide lifelong learning opportunities for the Filipinos such as the Jobs Next bill,” Raagas added.

Earlier, PBEd expressed its support for House Bill No. 9782 or the Jobs Next Act filed by Rep. Patrick Michael ‘PM’ Vargas, which seeks to create a skills voucher program for the Filipino workforce to access training and gain future skills.

Alongside this, PBEd is also piloting the JobsNext initiative in select local government units in Sorsogon, Negros Oriental, Eastern Samar, and Samar with the support of Citi Foundation.

The local pilot program aims to train at least 1,000 young individuals for future skills needed to land jobs in emerging sectors such as data analytics, cloud technologies, engineering, and content production.