Reskilling and upskilling: Twin pathways to gainful employment and livelihood

2022-01-15T08:00:00.0000000Z

2022-01-15T08:00:00.0000000Z

Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp

https://manilabulletin.pressreader.com/article/281569474090881

Editorial

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s monthly job reports since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 show a seesawing pattern of rising and falling unemployment that naturally arise from alternating regimes of strict and less stringent quarantine alert levels. The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) has admitted that its original target of creating a million new jobs had been set back by the series of strict lockdowns and the shortage of public transportation. It is possible that the low COVID case count and increased mobility in December 2021 may have increased the number of available jobs — but the new record-high infection levels since the start of the year would likely push down employment levels anew. Clearly, a more sustainable jobs program needs to be put in place. One such initiative was the launching of the Philippine Skills Framework (PSF) in mid-2021. qºĢºê ĀĄÏóĄÏđĩ Ĉº­đóĄĈ ̞Ģº «ººê ϳºêđÏĸº³ɉ ­ĄºžđÏĢºĈɊ Äóó³ ɞžAEĄÏ­ėáđėĄº žê³ ĸĈ̺Ąĩɟɕ ̺žáđÌ žê³ ģºááness; information technology and business process management (IT-BPM); logistics and supply chain; èžêėĞ­đėĄÏêAEɕ žê³ đóėĄÏĈèɐ z̺ ĸĄĈđɢºĢºĄ iq, for the supply chain and logistics sectors had been launched. It is imperative that the other sectors step up, too, in terms of concretizing this initiative in terms of enhanced job creation. Reskilling and upskilling for digital transformation is the key that would enable a decisive pivot to new opportunities brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Particularly laudable is the Department of Education’s launching in December 2021 of Oplan TAWID (Technology-Assisted Work Immersion DeáÏĢºĄĩɟ Ïê ­óáឫóĄžđÏóê ģÏđÌ ĸĢº Ïê³ėĈđĄĩ ĀžĄđêºĄĈ led by Microsoft and Cloudswyft. This program aims to increase the employability of graduating senior high school students across the country. Senior high school participants are being enabled to attain digital literacy through training and ­ºĄđÏĸ­žđÏóêɐ QóĄºóĢºĄɊ đÌºÏĄ ɩĈóÄđ ĈÞÏááĈɪ Ĉė­Ì žĈ communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking would be developed. These twin programs would certainly enhance their employability. Many enlightened employers have also taken the initiative to reengineer work systems in response to the acceleration of digital transformation across industries. Hybrid working arrangements also require that managers reset and recalibrate their supervisory methods, considering the changing nature of work and the increased empowerment of employees who are allowed and enabled to work from home. The ITBPM sector is a prime role model. Shortly after the national health emergency was declared two years ago, most operations shifted to a work-from-home èó³º ģÏđÌ ĈėĈđžÏ꺳 ºĶ­Ïºê­ĩɐ TESDA, like DepEd, is also focusing on reskilling and upskilling. Its ‘Abot Lahat’ (Reach All) program seeks to provide learning opportunities for displaced migrant workers, those who lost jobs due to lockdowns, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and senior high school students aspiring to get employed. Some 70 online courses are available for those seeking to equip themselves with employable skills or venture into micro-enterprises like online selling. Through reskilling and upskilling programs, alternative forms of livelihood, entrepreneurship and self-employment will create new pathways for enabling tens of thousands of Filipinos to cope with the pandemic and lead more productive lives.

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