PBEd launches new workforce development program

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

Catherine Talavera – The Philippine Star

October 8, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A business-led education advocacy group is providing free training and upskilling opportunities under its new workforce development program aimed at empowering the Filipino youth for digital careers.

In a statement, Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) iannounced its Future Skills Now (FSN), a program supported by JP Morgan, which seeks to empower underprivileged Filipino youth with digital and career proficiencies and support their work-readiness in the 21st century workplace.

PBEd said the initiative offers 700 young Filipinos in Metro Manila and Cebu work-based training and mentorship by industry experts to enhance their competitiveness and secure sustainable jobs in growing sectors.

“JP Morgan remains committed to expanding inclusive and economic opportunity for all. And in the Philippines, we endeavor to achieve this goal by leaning on our partners in the endeavor and tapping the wealth of talent in the country and ensuring that they are equipped with all the relevant tools and competencies to be able to compete in a fast-evolving digital environment,” JP Morgan managing director and senior country officer Carlos Ma. Mendoza said.

FSN aims to boost the country’s talent growth by providing training opportunities in technological skills, according to PBEd.

PBEd pointed out that in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2022, which measures the capacity and readiness of economies to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government, and society, the Philippines ranked 56th out of 63 countries.

It added that in the latest Philippine Jobs 2023 Report, the World Bank also advocated for improved digital competency in basic as well as technical-vocational education, stronger industry collaboration, and updated qualification and accreditation mechanisms necessary to adapt to the evolving skill demands.

“Through FSN, PBEd is actively collaborating with local governments in Metro Manila and Cebu and private sector partners to promote digital skills through capacity-building workshops,” the PBEd said.

Local advisory councils will be formed in these targeted areas to establish public-private partnerships, identify city-level job needs, and ensure project sustainability.

“The future is here and now. Opportunities abound, when both the public and private sector are engaged. And with our youth showing immense potential, all we need to do is work together to pave the way for a brighter future and a digitally skilled and competitive workforce,” PBEd executive director Justine Raagas said.

Moreover, PBEd along with the the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) recently conducted a learning session which convened 20 firms coming from various sectors including information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO), data analytics, finance, health services, creative, and digital industries in Cebu City.

The event was part of a series of learning sessions that FSN is conducting to promote private sector engagement.

“While digital transformation has brought remarkable gains for businesses, it is crucial to emphasize that human capital remains indispensable. The synergy between advanced technology and human skills and capabilities form the bedrock of our success and resilience in the digital age,” CCCI president Charles Kenneth Co said.

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