Makati City, July 16 2018 — Just two weeks before President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) calls on the administration to establish a national plan for workforce and skills development, allowing economic growth to flourish.
PBEd, presenting an assessment of the state of Philippine education, underscored that while education investments have risen, they have not necessarily translated to learning. From 2008 to 2014, the average achievement test scores for both elementary and secondary levels have stalled at 59%, well below the 77% national target. The problem of learning does not stop there, evident also at the end of the education pipeline. The group states that getting a degree does not automatically result in work-readiness
or employability, with college graduates making up 22% of all unemployed Filipinos.
In a labor market where joblessness continues to rise and rapid technological advancements put 48% of all jobs at risk – how will the country help its people get into the right careers and further drive economic growth?
The advocacy group’s answer? Workforce development.
“Workforce development is an interconnected set of solutions that aligns education and training
to national competitive needs,” PBEd Executive Director Love Basillote explains. “It is an intentional approach that brings together multiple sectors to ensure that the workforce is equipped with skills
that are relevant to the economy. The objective, in the end, is to enable people to get the right jobs.”
Studies show that economies with sustained economic growth have high knowledge capital. Another common thing that these economies share is an established workforce development plan. Common
to these models are elements that PBEd recommends for the Philippines--a robust labor market intelligence system, strong industry participation in education, and regular dialogues between industry, academe and government.
While the establishment of a workforce development plan may take time, PBEd presents multiple areas
of collaboration that all actors can pursue. By participating in workforce signaling and standards setting
in light of the new Philippine Qualifications Framework, or in CHED Technical Panels & Committees that focus on industry-informed curricula review and alternative training policies, the organization is confident the growth that the country is experiencing will be sustained.
"With fast-paced technological advancements and the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us, it is high time for our country to prioritize the prosperity of every Filipino by investing in the workforce--investing
in the future,” Basillote ended