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Vocational graduates post top hiring rates in ADB study

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HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES with additional technical or vocational training posted higher rates of hiring than those who only finished secondary school or entered college, according to a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

A survey of 3,000 individuals between 2015 and 2016 showed that technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses had a hiring rate of 94% compared to the average of 90% for those that started or finished high school, and those that entered or completed college, the bank said in a recent working paper.

The bank said there is a positive correlation between wages and TVET.

“TVET graduates are more likely to be employed and receive a higher wage than those who were only taught at secondary school or below. The results are statistically significant for both the Heckman-corrected OLS (ordinary least squares) model and the PSM (propensity score matching) technique,” according to the study, “The impact of vocational training on labor market outcomes in the Philippines.”

It also found that TVET graduates are less likely to be unemployed or leave the labor market than those who completed high school, and have more potential of being employed compared to those who partially pursued tertiary education. However, the statistical significance varies across a number of factors.

“These results provide the answer to the question posed in the title of the paper: TVET is not irrelevant in the labor market job but can be effective in securing employment and obtaining a better wage than for those who do not pursue post-secondary education,” the ADB said.

It also said that there was a “puzzling result” of the study, which found that those with combined vocational training and tertiary education got lower wages, indicating that the combination may not be rewarded in the labor market.

The country’s basic education system, before 2011, consisted of six years of elementary school and four years of high school. This was lengthened to add kindergarten and two more grades starting in 2016.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority is the agency responsible for TVET. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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