by Chico Gimenez

An Alliance to Align the Workforce Development Program of our Nation

Two years ago, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) launched the Ambisyon Natin 2040 Economic Development Plan, to prepare our nation for upcoming waves of changes in the global trade and workforce economy. Fast forward to 2020, various private and public sectors agreed to unite and think as one, so they can align their workforce development programs. To make this initiative successful, our leaders from The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), with the help of SFI Group of Companies, gathered experts from different working groups in curriculum development, assessment, policy making and implementation; as well as scholars from the Academe, Professional Organizations and HR Practitioners, to discuss and develop a strategy in workforce development.

Why both Public and Private Sectors should work together

During the conference, leaders from different private groups and public sectors, shared their victories in their respective mandates and also discussed the importance of having a working group to craft a Workforce Investment Act.

Conference Speakers & VIP Guests from left to right: Chairperson of PRB in Guidance & Counselling- Dr. Luz Guzman, President of PAPRB Dr. Carfredda Dumlao, PCCI President Dr. Alberto Fenix, Jr., PRC Commissioner Chairman Teofilo Pilando, SFI Group of Companies President Luis Alberto Anastacio, NEDA Dir. Myrna Asuncion, DOLE Undersecretary Ana Dione, DILG Asst. Secretary Florida Dijan, DILG Director Anna Liza Bonagua, Assessment Fund Chairman Dr. Saleem Qureshi, and TESDA Executive Dir. David B. Bungalion.

DOLE OIC-USEC Benjo Benavides (in the photo), led the opening of the alliance meeting wherein he highlighted the importance of creating a timeline, of how we should think as one group, and how we should respond to labor force and workforce challenges that we are now facing.

NEDA‘s Dir. Myrna Asuncion, presented their agency’s smart and innovative society program initiative. She highlighted the human capital project of The World Bank and how it aims to provide resources to the SME’s to help them flourish and provide higher incomes for the workforce.

During her presentation, Dir. Asuncion also stressed about the importance of alliances with the private sector to achieve their goals. She shared a success story from a small company in the wig making business, just outside Cebu City, which was able to expand their business by having their employees undergo skills training with TESDA. After successfully upskilling their employees, they were able to expand their business and cultivate a homegrown coffee planting business.

SFI Group of Companies at the forefront of Human Capital Development

The CEO of SFI Group of Companies, Mr. Luis Alberto Anastacio, expressed his appreciation of the seven (7) years of work that they accomplished together with different partners in the government and private sector. As the only organization who managed to successfully launch a 21st Century Skills assessment to measure over 80,000 members of the labor force, it strengthens their commitment to education and employment for the Filipino. To quote Mr. Anastacio-

(We have to) discover ourselves ahead from everybody. The PTMI (Talentmap) will be published, but we need- a lot more people to continue to help us in developing our country.” He also said that there’s a difference in talking to someone with information about employability. Together with their partners in public and private sectors, they can provide industry profiles which can provide essential and critical information. “What we can measure, we can improve.

During this event, Mr. Anastacio also introduced the ‘Adopt-a-City’ program which is a joint program between SFI Group of Companies, Tested Talent and ACT, to enable interested Foundations, LGU’s and Academes to launch workforce development programs for their respective cities.

International Partners in Workforce Training and Assessments

Our Partners in international training and education, ACT and Assessment Fund, also introduced themselves and shared their success stories in workforce development. ACT’s Vice President, Simmy Kivel, said that the challenges that we are now facing are also happening globally. During his piece, he provided a comprehensive look on how ACT can help prepare Filipinos for Global Career & Work Readiness through their program.

Assessment Fund’s Chairman, Dr. Saleem Qureshi, highlighted the success of their partnership with SFI Group of Companies which started in 2012 with the TalentMap assessment. The Philippine TalentMap Initiative (PTMI) was a culmination of their partnership with DOLE and SFI Group of Companies, which has already been reviewed and validated by the DOLE-ILS (Institute for Labor Studies). Dr. Qureshi, also announced the launch of SkillUpz, a new user-friendly online training platform that currently provides 15 courses from English Comprehension to Analytical Thinking. He also pledged a 10 million peso grant to a city, which was randomly drawn and chosen from a list of nominated cities after the conference, to use their assessment and training services.

Ongoing initiatives and challenges

Speakers from other government agencies and professional organizations also joined the event and shared their workforce development program initiatives & challenges. TESDA’s Acting Exec. Dir. David Bungallon shared their 4th Industrial Revolution Framework & Challenges, while PRC’s Chairperson Luzviminda Guzman, Ed.D discussed the Career Guidance Advocacy Program and ongoing issues in Job-Skill Mismatch.

The Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Tonisito Umali, spoke on behalf of his agency about the challenges that they face in terms of budget and inadequacy of 21st Century Skills Training in producing employable graduates. He called for a continuous change in the mindset of the private sector when employing Senior High School graduates, in his own words-

“Lalong matutugunan kung ang private sector ay magbabago ng kanilang mindset- mga kumpanya na willing at handang tumanggap ng SHS graduates.”

Conference Hosts & Speakers receiving their recognition plaques from left to right: SFI Group of Companies President Luis Alberto Anastacio (host & speaker), DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali, FCGANP President Dr. Wilfredo Mina, Assessment Fund Chairman Dr. Saleem Qureshi, CDAP Executive Director Maria Teresa Jose, MS, RGC, Chairperson of PRB in Guidance & Counselling– Dr. Luz Guzman, PCCI President Dr. Alberto Fenix, Jr., DOLE Former Secretary Atty. Bienvenido Laguesma, and DOLE-BLE Senior Labor and Employment Officer John Christopher Lapiz (host).

Workforce Development Plan Event Reactors

The President of The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Dr. Alberto Fenix, Jr. together with Former DOLE Secretary, Atty. Bienvenido Laguesma, were both invited as reactors for the event. Dr. Fenix mentioned that the TalentMap was definitely a good start since we already have a base data to help us identify problems in education, while Atty. Laguesma strongly suggested the full commitment of agencies to the proposed workforce development plan. He also added that there should be a ‘self-less’ mindset and consideration to ensure the success of this workforce development plan.

For more information about the Alliance for the National Strategic Workforce Development Plan, you may view the framework below or download The Philippine TalentMap Iniatitive final report here.

All multimedia (photos & videos) and diagram are used with permission from SFI Group of Companies. Republishing requires our written consent.

Reference: https://bit.ly/3AQkkJL