Labor cmte endorses JobsNext Project
The City Council committee on labor and employment chaired by Councilor Joyleen Mercedes L. Balaba favorably endorsed the proposed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the city government and the Business for Education, Inc. (PBEd) for the implementation of the JobsNext Project.
The Gavel learned that the JobsNext project seeks to encourage and incentivize upskilling and reskilling of the workforce by creating a skills voucher program that will help the Filipinos adapt to automation and digitization.
PBEd is the business community’s response to the need for sustained and strategic education reform in the country, with core focus on building consensus as a neutral but critical industry voice on specific education to employment programs and policies.
PBEd is also working with selected local government units (LGUs) to pilot the JobsNext program. PBEd, together with development partners and LGUs, will train at least 1,000 young individuals aged 18-25 for future skills needed in areas such as data and artificial intelligence, engineering, cloud computing, and content production.
During the meeting last week, Florence de Castro, program manager of JobsNext, said the project aims to mitigate the negative impacts of industry on the employability of the labor force by providing industry relevant, demand-driven, up-to-date, and appropriate skilling programs. The company will be providing training to youth relevant to the so-called Jobs of the future, she said.
She added that the company is also forming local Future Skills Councils (FSCs) to accredit the training programs that will be implemented and offered to the youth.
Councilor Aga Suan, vice-chair of the committee, asked PBEd that these skills training are not supposed to be included in the Department of Education (DepEd) curriculum.
De Castro said DepEd is in-charge mainly in basic education, but the JobsNext project focuses on the skills which are not included and covered by DepEd.
Its training programs are industry recognized and training providers are companies themselves and the trainings are recognized by the industry as an advantage for the young individuals to have higher chances of getting hired.
As to the allocation of funds, according to De Castro, all of the training programs are free for the pilot test. However, she said the city government could support it through providing internet connection, transportation allowance, if needed, or existing programs that support the youth like scholarships so that they can take on skills training.
She said the city could allocate funds for the project in the next budget cycle as part of the sustainability measures.
After thorough discussions, the committee approved the proposal subject to submission of the final draft to the City Legal Office.
Once the draft has been reviewed and endorsed by the legal department, this will be referred to the committee on laws and rules chaired by Councilor Ian Mark Q. Nacaya for appropriate action.