July 05, 2022

Taguig City – The Philippines, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Vietnam, through its Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), have concluded the two-day hybrid Regional Policy Dialogue which aims to strengthen technical vocational education and training (TVET) in Southeast Asia.

With the theme “Regional Policy Dialogue on TVET Governance in the Era of Digitalization and Industry 4.0,” the Regional Policy Dialogue is one of the initial activities of the ASEAN TVET Council (ATC) following its establishment in 2020.

The Regional Policy Dialogue was held in Hanoi Vietnam and through video conferencing last June 29 and 30.  It is the first in a series aimed to be a platform for mutual learning and sharing of achievements and lessons learned from the ASEAN region and beyond.

Present in the hybrid event were education and labor ministries, private sector, tripartite partners, academia and other regional stakeholders in the ASEAN region.

The dialogue focused on the important role of TVET governance in shaping a well-qualified workforce.  It serves to strengthen the ATC by providing concrete inputs to the council’s Work Plan 2021-2030.

In his message, former TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña, who also served as the ATC Chair, emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technology adoption worldwide to stay relevant and competitive.

Companies and employers, according to him, are quickly integrating digital technology in their processes, making the demand for labor force with digital competencies rise.

“As a result, there is a need to upgrade our TVET systems and upskill our TVET workforce, while continuously finding ways to identify, integrate, and implement digital competencies in the labor force,” Lapeña said.

The former TESDA Chief also noted the need to intensify regional cooperation to address emerging issues and at the same time, harness the opportunities these instances will provide.

“Let us help each other in laying the groundwork and ensure that the ASEAN TVET Council will live up to our expectations,” he added.

Lapeña was accompanied by TESDA Deputy Director General Rosanna Urdaneta, who is currently the agency’s officer-in-charge.  Urdaneta, the ASEAN TVET Council Philippines Alternate Focal Point, served as a plenary session panelist to provide expert inputs on TVET governance during the international conference.

The event was held with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat and Regional Cooperation Programme in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (RECOTVET) program on behalf of the German Government.

Meanwhile, aside from the two-day Regional Policy Dialogue, the ATC also held a workshop last June 26-27, 2022 to support organizational development of the Council. Issues of leadership, prioritization and resource mobilizations were some of the key topics discussed in the Workshop.

Follow-up workshops have been planned for the later part of this year to strengthen the Council’s organizational capacity in carrying out its mandate and vision.

The ATC, being a multi-sectoral/cross-sectoral body, provides a platform for coordination, research and development on innovations, and monitoring of regional programs that support the advancement of TVET in the ASEAN. ###