/ 28 March 2023

THE PHILIPPINE Business for Education backed the World Bank’s call to strengthen and make accessible skills training programs to boost youth employment in the country.

WB urged the Philippines to create more and better jobs for the youth to strengthen post-pandemic economic recovery. The bank’s report also emphasized the urgency of crafting targeted policies to facilitate job creation and ensure that young workers are not left behind.

WB Senior Economist Yoonyoung Cho stressed that “measures like skills training, job search assistance, wage subsidies, public works programs, and entrepreneurship promotion should be further strengthened.”

To align education and skills of youth, PBEd underscored the importance of work-based training.

“As jobs are pathways to a better quality of life, skills training is a vehicle that can help them get there. This will set up our workforce and economy for greater competitiveness,” PBEd Executive Director Justine Raagas said.

“We must work together to support our young workers as they start the engine and get things up to speed as they enter the labor market,” he added.

A Labor Market Intelligence report commissioned by PBEd showed that there are high levels of underutilization and mismatch rates in the analytics and AI sector. The sector, which cuts through and provides services in different industries, has registered a 70 percent skills mismatch rate in agriculture, 56 percent in IT-BPM, and 50 percent in manufacturing. The same report also revealed that supply of labor professionals in the analytics sector remains a problem since there is still a lack of specialized courses and analytics teachers to produce competent analytics workers.

WB also stated that the Philippine workforce lags behind its regional peers in foundational skills. To support efforts in addressing this, PBEd partnered with six local governments to increase workforce proficiency for future jobs through JobsNext. The program provides skills training for youth for emerging jobs in the digital economy. A nationwide skills voucher program for lifelong learning is also being pushed through the JobsNext bill.