/ 14 May 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday urged the government to improve the implementation of skilling and training programs to help the youth meet industry standards when they find employment.

This will in turn help spur the country’s recovery from the impact of the Covid19 pandemic and help address jobs-education mismatch, he said.

“Sa pagbangon ng ating bansa mula sa mga pinsalang dulot ng Covid19, kailangang tutukan natin ang pag-angat ng kalidad ng pagsasanay ng mga kabataan upang maihanda sila kapag sumabak na sila sa trabaho at tiyakin na ang kanilang kasanayan at kakayahan ay angkop sa pangangailangan ng mga industriya,” Gatchalian said.

The senator cited the March 2021 paper from state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies that identified different challenges hounding skills programs, particularly in Technical-Vocational Education and Training.

The PIDS study said that many aspects of training regulations are not up to date with current industry standards. Trainers and assessors are not fully aware of industry needs unlike industry-based experts or practitioners, it added.

The study also found that entry-level workers fall short on soft skills such as communication and workplace discipline.

The study recommended raising the need for investing in flexible learning modalities and boosting digital skills, especially since businesses have been forced to go online.

It also raised the need for regular dialogues between the government, employers, and TVET providers to ensure that training regulations keep pace with the rapid changes in the industry, labor market, and training landscape.

Gatchalian said his proposal to establish the National Education Council will help foster dialogues and address issues on TVET and other education policies.

Senate Bill 1526 or the National Education Council Act aims to institutionalize national coordination and harmonization of policies among the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.