Road to better lives: Skills training for out-of-school Pinoys

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An advocacy group in the Philippines is setting skills training that may lead to employment for Filipino youths who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), a non-profit private organization, recently announced it is providing opportunities for Filipino youths when it signed five agreements with schools and organizations to provide at least 370 slots of technical-vocational education for Filipino NEETs.

PBEd said it signed partnerships with Miriam College, the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punlaan School, and three Cebu-based organizations: Primary Structures Corp., School of Knowledge, Industrial Labor, Leadership and Service (SKILLS), and the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise.

Under the agreements, Youthworks PH, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and partner schools and organizations will hold skills training programs in Manila and Cebu to the youth, especially those who are classified NEET, leading to employment.

PBEd said Punlaan School will open its doors to train at least 40 women in hospitality and culinary courses.

Miriam College will develop an Alternative Learning System Senior High School diploma in partnership with a leading construction company for training and employment.

Cagayan de Oro Chamber member companies will participate in the project’s work-based training program while Cebu-based organizations will support 330 youth in engineering technology and construction-related skills.

Launched in 2018, YouthWorks PH is PBEd’s five-year PHP1.7-billion workforce development project in partnership with the USAID. It will run until 2023.

It aims to make education and training more responsive to the needs of the economy by working with the government, industry and academe.

“Education must adequately prepare people for the 21st century workplace. Workforce development challenges, while global in nature, also have local nuances that require local solutions, and industry-academe-government collaboration is a key success factor in working global models of workforce development programs,” Brian Levey, director of the USAID Office of Education, said.

Karol Mark Yee, YouthWorks PH chief of party, said the partnerships show that the academe and industries can work together in developing the country’s workforce.

“Improving the state of our education is a task that is no longer exclusive to government and academic institutions, and workforce development is not the sole responsibility of the business sector,” he added.

The project will begin its recruitment drives in April nationwide, starting with Cagayan de Oro City.

There will be outreach programs and career caravans in the Greater Manila Area, Zamboanga City, Cebu, Iloilo, Gen. Santos City, and Davao City.

“YouthWorks PH will improve access for youth to training and employment opportunities, and engage the private sector in workforce development. Our partnership will create over 4,000 work-based training positions for youth and these positions will be complemented with classroom-based skills training and competency certification,” USAID Deputy Mission Director Patrick Wesner said. (Philippine News Agency)

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