/ 8 May 2022

THE PHILIPPINE Business for Education and Citi Foundation forged another partnership to prepare 1,000 Filipino youth for jobs through the JobsNext program.

JobsNext seeks to ensure the employability of the Philippine labor force by providing training for jobs and skills that are in demand.

According to a 2016 International Labor Organization study, almost half of the Philippine population will be employed in occupations at high risk of automation by 2025. However, the World Economic Forum estimates that although many occupations will become obsolete, more jobs will emerge. JobsNext aims to get ahead of this by providing industry-relevant, demand-driven, up-to-date and appropriate skilling programs for young Filipinos.

The JobsNext local pilot supported by Citi Foundation is an 18-month program that will work with at least two local government units to train 1,000 young individuals on skills needed in areas such as data and Artificial Intelligence, engineering and cloud computing and content production. It will also create a governance and implementing framework where local government units or LGUs can invest and prioritize resources for jobs that are future proof.

The governance structure in each of the primary project sites can be replicated in other cities, thereby reaching more young Filipinos.

Last year, PBEd successfully implemented and completed First Future 2.0, an upskilling program that helped young people without college degrees enter the contact center industry. The program supported 1,093 Filipino youths through two career pathways training to help them land jobs in operations, management and administrative functions in multiple sectors such as Information Technology, Business Process Outsourcing, finance and retail.

This is one of the many programs supported by Citi and the Citi Foundation’s expanded global Pathways to Progress initiative, which is designed to equip young people with the skills and confidence to improve their employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

“We invested in this important initiative because, like PBEd, we strongly believe in the need to help young people pursue careers and become financially independent. The youth, particularly those in the services sector and those holding informal jobs, were among the hardest hit by the pandemic. The JobsNext program is an opportunity for all of us in the private sector to come together to not only provide immediate help to unemployed Filipino youth, but more importantly, to collectively shape a more resilient and future-proof workforce,” said Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed.

“We are very proud of what the First Future project achieved in a span of 6 months despite the current challenges in remote learning we are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic. This is just a small portion of what the First Future project can achieve, but with the help of our partner institutions, we can look forward to more companies adopting a competency-based hiring policy and we can look forward to more upskilled Filipino youth in the near future,” said Justine Raagas, Director for Workforce Development of PBEd.