/ 18 August 2023

SENATE Majority Leader Joel Villanueva urged the government to step up efforts to reskill and upskill Filipinos, especially the youth, to give them wider employment opportunities.

During the briefing of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee for the proposed 2024 budget, Villanueva welcomed the P9.18 billion allocation for programs to increase employability in the new appropriations.

These include the Government Internship Program, Special Program for Students, Jobstart Philippines, Supporting Innovation in the Philippine Technical and Vocational Education and Training System, Special Training for Employment Program, Training for Work Scholarship Program and Tulong Trabaho Scholarship Program.

The National Economic and Development Authority earlier said there is a big mismatch between graduates and employment opportunities from fast-evolving sectors associated with digital technology and green economy.

“This is exactly why we need a reskilling and upskilling revolution to have a competitive and resilient workforce for the 4th Industrial Revolution so that our people will have a better shot at sustainable and quality employment,” Villanueva said.

Upskilling involves adding or scaling up one’s skills, while reskilling has to do with retraining one in a new area.

Villanueva said the proposed interventions for upskilling and reskilling will be scrutinized during the deliberation of the budget of departments.

“We want to know the specific training or courses in the programs, the number of beneficiaries and the extent to which these programs will help achieve the target 4.4% to 4.7% employment rate in 2024,” he said.