EMPLOYERS said all industries need to get involved in improving teacher training to better prepare educators to turn out employable workers.

In an interview with BusinessWorld on Friday, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Chairman George T. Barcelon said, “I think the industry should get ourselves involved so the teachers will have a more rounded view of their role (in producing) what industry needs.”

“The private sector should raise this to a higher level,” Mr. Barcelon, who also sits as the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) Board Member, added.

Mr. Barcelon said investing in teacher training will benefit companies if more graduates find a place in industry.

“They (Companies) invest in them to train but if they’re better-trained right out of school, the investment of the industry is less because they can be productive right away,” he said.

On Friday, PBEd wrapped up its five-year teacher scholarship campaign with the Australian government. PBEd’s “Scholarships for Teacher Education Programs to Update Teacher Quality in the Philippines” (STEP UP) provided opportunities to professionals regardless of background to become licensed professional teachers. The campaign began in 2015 and has funded over 900 scholars nationwide.

Executive Director Lovelaine B. Basillote said teacher quality is important in education since this will affect what students learn and the lessons they will apply in the real world.

“We need to make sure the best and brightest end up in teaching… by making sure they are highly qualified and classroom-ready,” she said during the closing event Friday.

PBEd Chairman Ramon R. Del Rosario, Jr. said the PBEd initiative hopes to achieve their organization’s goal of enhancing the education system. Producing quality teachers will result in competitive graduates entering in the labor force.

“Competitiveness is the key. We are not living in a vacuum. Our country lives in a world where one has to compete and one has to be up to a certain standard,” he said in the same event. — Gillian M. Cortez