12 July 2013
There is a gap between education and the jobs that are available, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) intends to find ways to plug it.
This was the main goal for gathering technical vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and industry associations in a forum entitled Bridging the Gap Between Training and Employment held on July 12 at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissioned Officers Club at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
"We need to take advantage of the good business climate. This will immediately translate to jobs if we have a workforce that can meet the skills needed by companies," Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA director general, said.
The country's economic picture also offers a conducive environment for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to thrive. Intense education and training assistance to individuals and groups willing to start their own business are also vital, he added.
"We gathered these key sectors to hear their concerns and solicit recommendations how TESDA can address them through policies and programs. We are serious in solving the job-skills mismatch," Villanueva said.
TESDA has ongoing programs aimed at linking TVET graduates to employers, such as nationwide jobs bridging events, but these were not sufficient.
Reports from these programs noted a discrepancy between graduates who immediately qualify and were hired on-the-spot and those who were scheduled for further interview. The TESDA chief said there is a need to identify the problem behind the said discrepancy.
Close to a thousand participants showed up at the TVET Industry Forum organized by TESDA National Capital Region (NCR) in partnership with the NCR Alliance of TVET Schools Association. They came from various groups and sectors, including TVET institutions, employers and representatives from five key industry sectors, namely: tourism; health, wellness and beauty; maritime; construction; and information and communications technology (including business process outsourcing and creative industries).
Prior to the forum, sectoral focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted to gather information and insights from employers and stakeholders in the sectors on the job-skills mismatch. The results were presented and validated by the participants during the event.
Among the industry associations that were invited were the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry through their Education Committee; Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc. (TIBFI); Council of Hotel and Restaurant Educators of the Philippines (COHREP); Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP); Association of HR Managers (AHRM); Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) Call Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP); Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI); Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA); Association of Construction and Informal Workers (ACIW); Association of Carriers and Equipment Lessors (ACEL); Makati Development Corporation; and Filipino Association for Mariners Employment (FAME).