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PCCI seeking incentives for investing in training

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A BUSINESS CHAMBER urged the government agencies to provide incentives for private sector investment in training students to work in certain industries.

“Training isn’t purely school training in the classroom. You need equipment and facilities… and I think the government should allow companies in certain industries to bring in their equipment tax-free, so that more people can experience high-quality training with the right equipment,” according to George T. Barcelon, Chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

Mr. Barcelon made the remarks on Thursday at a PCCI event marking its collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for the K-to-12 PLUS Project and Don Bosco school’s ONE TVET Project.

“Germany, and other European countries with a long-standing tradition in dual education and training repeatedly show lower youth unemployment figures. The key factor is the effective and trustful collaboration between government and industry through an apprenticeship system that blends classroom education with on-the-job-training,” German Ambassador to the Philippines Gordon Kricke said.

Companies should invest in dual education and training because “in the medium- and long-term, the benefits are higher than the costs (in training) so we want to raise awareness in enterprises that it is worthwhile to get involved,” said Andreas Dernbach, Project Coordinator for the K-12 PLUS Project.

The German government is supporting skills development projects in the Philippines, including the ONE TVET Project which was implemented in Don Bosco schools nationwide. The program aims to assist marginalized youth with training relevant to immediate employment. The PCCI’s K to 12 PLUS Project, meanwhile, aims to boost employability by matching skills with the needs of companies.

“We only started last year,” said Don Bosco Vice Rector Fr. Jose Dindo S. Vitug regarding ONE TVET, funded by BMZ and other stakeholders. “We have expanded our networks among industries. We made TVET more visible even in far-flung areas.”

Mr. Dernbach said education and training are of equal importance because “they really make young people fit to be work-ready,” he said.

“We are thankful to the German government for their continuous support through numerous technical and financial cooperation projects, systematic developments, and development cooperation. The challenge now is how we make sure that the government and the private sector will move towards joint responsibility for dual education and training in the country,” said PCCI President Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco. — Gillian M. Cortez