ECOP conducted a two-day workshop/consultative meeting on skills development on 25-26 October 2018 at the City Garden Grand Hotel, Makati City with the theme “Taking Action on Skills Development: The Way Forward”. The main objective of the workshop is to determine how employers can be more involved in skills issues and how ECOP can translate its policy advocacy on skills development into an operational model.
The workshop was participated by representatives from the government, industry associations, large companies, and experts on skills development.
Some of the key challenges identified by the participants include: weak and inadequate labor market information, inconsistencies in the initiatives of the trifocal educational system in the Philippines, and the large gap between industry and the academe. However, the most pressing issue that was identified is getting small and medium enterprises (which constitute the bulk of Philippine industries) interested and engaged on skills issues. This situation contributes to the wide skills gap and has been detrimental to enterprise-based training programmes.
Some of the key insights from the workshop include: (1) coordinating more closely with industry partners to harness what has already been done on a sectoral level (2) contributing to raising the “image” of technical vocational (techvoc) education and techvoc graduates to employers, and (3) tapping into recruitment practices in order to get an idea of the competencies needed by employers for particular functions.
The next step is the creation of a project that is oriented towards marketing TVET for employers as well as an employer-driven skill-needs monitoring system.
The workshop was implemented with the support of the Dutch Employers Cooperation Programme (DECP). Mr. Jos van Erp, DECP Deputy Director and Special Advisor for Skills Development, served as facilitator and resource speaker for the workshop.