/ 13 March 2021

TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Isidro Lapeña convened the members of the ASEAN Technical Vocational Education and Training Council to discuss the development of a work plan and strategies to enhance industry participation.

The Philippines assumed the chairmanship of the council in August 2020.

The online conference held on March 10, 2021 also aimed to address emerging issues brought by the ongoing pandemic, technological transformations, and other developments.

Lapeña noted that the council intends to review the ASEAN TVET agenda in light of the anticipated challenges and impacts of the fourth industrial revolution on the workforce, especially on low- and middle-level skilled workers.

“The pandemic accelerated the predicted technological revolution, and this has triggered sudden, unprecedented shifts in our education systems and employment landscape. Learning from this experience, we shall build our capacities and establish effective response mechanisms to withstand these kinds of disruptions in the future,” he said.

The council identified the six priority areas to consider — market-responsive workforce, research, TVET image, quality assurance, qualification of TVET professionals, and TVET implementation and financing.

Lapeña highlighted the important areas for collaboration given the council’s composition having representatives from education, labor, business and industry, among others.

He cited lifelong learning, promotion of digital and 21st century skills, digitalization of systems, flexible learning and training delivery models as among the common areas that the council may consider for collaboration.

“Let us take this opportunity to look ahead and think of our priorities and the urgent policy reforms needed in our TVET and skills development systems,” Lapeña said.

During the meeting, Singapore was elected vice chairman of the council.