By Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo
VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Leonor G. Robredo is looking to enhance partnerships with the private sector to help resolve the problem of job mismatch in the country.
Ms. Robredo in her speech Monday, Oct. 9, at the Makati Business Club (MBC) Joint Membership Meeting said one of the biggest barriers to inclusive growth is unemployment, which results from the problem of mismatch between skills required by industries and training provided by the government. “We learned that there is a big disconnect between industry requirements and available training programs. In the manufacturing sector, for instance, industry growth has not resulted to higher employment,” she said.
“Sustainable growth happens only when there is a strong convergence between the private and the government sector… Let us listen to each other and learn from each other,” Ms. Robredo said in her speech.
In an open forum with business leaders, the Vice-President cited opportunities for partnerships between her office and the private sector, particularly on linking students to industry needs.
“That’s very ideal, for senior high schools to partner with existing industries so there are opportunities already for graduates of high school, to immediately work after senior high school for those who cannot afford to go to college yet. But the problem is, across the country, there are so many schools that have no industry partners yet. So if we can partner with your organization, we are very much willing to do that,” Ms. Robredo said in response to Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PCCI) President George T. Barcelon.
Ms. Robredo said that based on her visits to schools around the country, particularly senior high schools (SHS), there is proper government training but these are not aligned with existing industry needs.
“They are not industry-driven…They are just teaching skills, but no market in sight. After the skills training, there’s nothing there,” Ms. Robredo said. This is the situation, she said, not only in schools in the provinces, but also in urbanized areas including Metro Manila, Region IV-A (Calabarzon), and Region III.
Aside from partnerships between SHS and industries, Ms. Robredo also said her office could partner with the private sector in linking communities supported by “Angat Buhay,” her anti-poverty program.
Ms. Robredo said she will launch this month “Angat Kabuhayan,” a jobs and livelihood program.