PBEd partners with LGUs to future-proof Filipino workforce

Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) has engaged six local government units (LGUs) to support the skills training of their respective workforce, for jobs of the future, through its JobsNext program. The partnership has been forged with the aim of boosting the Philippines’ readiness and competitiveness within the global digital operating landscape.

Samar province, Cagayan de Oro City, Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental, and municipalities of Irosin, Sorsogon, Arteche, Eastern Samar and Alaminos, Laguna are among the growing number of LGUs investing in workforce development.

“Automation and rapid digital transformation gave rise to a number of new employment opportunities. Our young workforce needs to be equipped with the right skills to take on emerging jobs and we need to invest in training our youth so that they can adapt to new ways of working and acquire the relevant skills. Through JobsNext, we can help the youth build new skill sets,” PBEd Executive Director Justine Raagas said.

With the support of Citi Foundation, JobsNext provides industry-relevant and demand-driven future skills training programs to young individuals aged 18 to 25. At the end of the training, Public Employment Services Offices (PESO) of partner LGUs will facilitate the matching and deployment of those who completed the training to possible job opportunities.

This is one of the many programs supported by Citi Foundation’s global Pathways to Progress initiative, which is designed to equip young people with the skills and confidence to improve their employment and entrepreneurship opportunities and make a positive impact in their lives and their communities. The project’s private sector partners will offer training programs in the areas of information and communication technology, data, entrepreneurship and project management, cybersecurity, and web services.

“The skills needed for jobs of the future will continue to evolve so it is important that we build learning environments that can keep up. This requires intensive collaboration between government, industry, and academia so we can maximize the resources and efforts that go into training our Filipino youth.” Raagas said.

To ensure the sustainability of the training programs, the Provincial Government of Samar and City Government of Himamaylan are working on ordinances for the establishment of the Local Future Skills Council in their areas. The council is composed of members from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Education, and Department of Trade and Industry, who will accredit training programs and oversee the overall implementation of JobsNext in their localities.

In Himamaylan City, JobsNext was jointly launched with another PBEd workforce development program, YouthWorks PH (YWPH), a private sector led skills training project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) With this initiative, unemployed and out-of-school youth in the city also stand to benefit from free future skills and technical-vocational work-based training provided by YWPH partners.

To reach more youth, PBEd is also partnering with the local government of Quezon City to introduce JobsNext. The passage of the JobsNext bill into law is also being pushed for nationwide implementation, and this is expected to benefit around 4.5 million young Filipinos over the next five years.

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