SkillAssure, an online technology competency development program, offers a free, five-day intensive training and assessment period where students can pick from around 150 information technology (IT) certificate courses in Industry 4.0 fields such as blockchain, machine learning, and big data. 

The program, which launches this October, is open to senior high school graduates, technical or vocational course completers, college students, and professionals. 

After completing the free assessment, students can proceed to the main SkillAssure Program which runs from three to five months. This is followed by an apprenticeship, job placements among partner companies, and guaranteed employment for the first 300 graduates. Aspiring entrepreneurs may also enroll in SkillAssure’s incubator program once they have attained their certificates.

Developed by Pratian Technologies, a tech solutions provider based in India, SkillAssure was brought to the Philippines in partnership with Rabah Consulting, a local digital marketing company.

Pratian Technologies believes that technological innovation in tourism and agriculture can unlock even more opportunities for Filipinos. Agricultural technology entrepreneurs previously identified gaps in the agricultural supply chain, such as wastage and continued use of traditional distribution channels, which can be improved by new technologies.

In the short term, SkillAssure aims to address employment challenges posed by COVID-19, with the goal of upskilling at least 10,000 people. The unemployment rate rose to 17.7% in April, which is equivalent to a total of 7.25 million jobless Filipinos.

“As the coronavirus pandemic persists, threatening livelihood and businesses, Filipinos need to equip themselves with better skill sets to thrive in the new normal,” said Andrea Trinidad, chief executive officer of Rabah Consulting.

This goal includes potential partnerships with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). “We want to work together with our government because we believe that we have the capability, because of Pratian… They have all the technology available to help us navigate through these very difficult times,” said Ms. Trinidad. — Mariel Alison L. Aguinaldo