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The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) signed Thursday a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to launch A Future that Works (AFW) initiative that aims to develop Filipino workforce and address skills mismatch in the country, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
AFW, a two-year initiative funded by DFAT and implemented by PBEd, also brings together stakeholders in the industry to establish the Sector Skills Council (SSC).
In the SSC, PBEd and DFAT will be joined by industry associations such as the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP), the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI), and with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Human Resources Development Foundation (PCCI-HRDF).
The SSC aims to take a more organized and coordinated approach in skills development by linking and working together with the government and the academe to develop policies and programs that are responsive to the needs of industries.
They will focus on sectors of food processing, semiconductors and electronics, and analytics.
The Council will also conduct market intelligence research to provide timely and relevant information on jobs in demand by specific industries.
PBEd chair Ramon del Rosario said there is a pressing need to address skills mismatch in the country amid technological breakthroughs that may place jobs at risk, as well as high unemployment rate in the country.
Del Rosario said this could be addressed through upskilling the workforce and match their skills to the requirements of industries through training and education.
“With the right investments in our workforce, we could help create a new age of good jobs, meaningful work, and improved quality of life for all,” he added.
During the online ceremonial signing, Australian Ambassador to the Philippine Steven Robinson welcomed the involvement of various industry associations in the AFW.
“The AFW ensure(s) that the Filipino workforce is ‘future proof’ – that they have the appropriate skills the labor market demands in an increasingly digitized world, further exacerbated by this pandemic,” Robinson said.