According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), it is essential to prioritize vulnerable populations, including young people, women, indigenous groups, and individuals with disabilities, in order to address the skills development gap.
In an interview with BusinessWorld on Monday, Katherine B. Brimon, a senior project officer at ILO, stated that there are still vulnerable groups who are unable to participate in or receive benefits from free skills development programs due to practical barriers.
“It is important to remember that these groups have multiple responsibilities in terms of caregiving and farming,” she stated. “Gender and social inclusivity should be integrated into the model.”
The SfP, also known as the Skills for Prosperity Programme in the Philippines, was backed by the ILO and the United Kingdom. This program, which began in November 2019 and lasted four years, provided underprivileged communities with industry-based technical vocational education and training (TVET).
According to the report from SfP in the Philippines, the program had a total of 6,197 individuals who directly benefited from it. Out of this number, 58% were women. The program was implemented for four years in Visayan provinces. When taking into account the families of the beneficiaries, the total number of people supported by the program was 57,857.
Ms. Brimon stated that the main sectors of focus in the Visayan regions are agriculture and construction.
Khalid Hassan, the director of the ILO country office for the Philippines, stated in a press release that it is crucial to guarantee the inclusivity and adaptability of national TVET and skills systems to meet the demands of the industry.
He stated that we must provide workers with the necessary skills in order for them to have more opportunities for employment.
According to SfP-Philippines, individuals pursuing careers as carpenters, masons, or plumbers would undergo practical training that would lead them towards becoming skilled professionals in their field, such as master carpenters, master masons, or master plumbers. They may even have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and provide construction services.
Ms. Brimon observed that 23 of the 24 barangays in Libacao, Aklan, cultivate abaca, a type of local banana known for its strong fiber. The community has been trained in sorting and categorizing the product.
The Akeanon Bukidnon of Libacao saw an increase in sales for graded abaca, with farmers and processors able to sell a kilogram for P43-100 instead of the previous P25-37 for unclassified abaca.
Ms. Brimon mentioned that construction workers in Cebu participated in training to obtain skills certification, in order to contribute to the region’s industrialization efforts.
Simultaneously, she observed that the initiative also sought to implement models and approaches for enhancing labor policies in the nation.
I analyzed the current methods of funding and providing TVET on an international, national, and regional level. I also mapped out the public-private partnerships for TVET within the country.