The Calabarzon region's academic communities here capped the year 2016 by forging partnerships with business and industry and regional government agencies in a bid to address job, skills mismatch as among the major causes for unemployment and underemployment.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) IV-A placed the region's 3rd Quarter 2016 estimates at 7.6 percent unemployment rate attributed to in-migration and persistent job skills mismatch due to new graduates and other applicants who do not meet the requirements of the industries.
The first Calabarzon academe-industry linkages summit was convened in October by the universities, colleges and institutions of higher learning and industry and government agencies to strengthen and sustain the partnerships toward reducing job-skills mismatch.
The convergence among the academe, industries and regional government agencies was in pursuit of President Rodrigo Duterte's socio-economic agenda to invest in human capital development including health and education.
The presidential directives also call for strengthening basic education, focusing on skills in communication, math and logical thinking; provide scholarships for tertiary education and address skills-jobs mismatches.
This month, the Calabarzon Regional Development Council (RDC) adopted the Summit recommendations and call to action in synergy with government, industry and academe which offered resources to develop, study, lobby and implement proposed policies and interventions in the short, medium and long term.
Among the recommendations include lengthening the On-the-Job Training (OJT) hours from 200 minimum to 600 hours or five months to broaden the work-training experience and skills development of the trainees.
The academic partners also recommended allowing night shift for specific sectors under the Dual Training System.
The recommendations also include expanding industry and government scholarships for industry priority courses such as automotive, IT and Business Process Management (BPM), electronics, tourism, agriculture and fisheries.
The academe viewed the scholarship incentives to ensure adequate supply of graduates to fit to their job prospects and work-related requirements and standards.
In the medium term, the academe-industry linkages (AIL) also proposed the creation of a National and Regional Academe Industry Council in all regions in the country.
Under this proposal, the partnerships between Senior High Schools and Industry on the DepEd's curriculum localization according to industry needs will be developed and promoted.
The AIL recommendation also called on TESDA to consider certification for industry-initiated and customized programs to meet industry needs on specific skills.
For long term proposals, the Calabarzon AIL pledged to intensify curriculum development and updates to be attuned to the fast-changing industry needs and technology to ensure quality and skilled graduates.
The academe also crafted specific actions to integrate their Service Management Program (SM) in the K to 12 ABM track in consultation with concerned industry for course content and training development.
The sector also committed to review and update curriculums in business administration and accountancy, agriculture, science and engineering courses to meet industry skills, current trends and technologies.
It also proposed language courses as mandatory for tourism, hospitality and related degrees while seeking support for the DOT-accredited establishments to intensify school educational and cultural trips and training programs on tour guiding to professionalize tourism workers.
The academic communities here also proposed the promotion of CHED agriculture-related research grants to increase utilization.
DepEd was requested to introduce agriculture, coastal resource management and integrated ecosystems-based management in the K to 12 education program particularly agriculture in the Senior High School.
Industries also committed to encourage their industry professionals in the knowledge-sharing environment to teach in schools in the region as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and in relevant government programs.
They also commit to provide both the academe and government on updated skills requirements and registry to determine and update job-skills gaps.
The summit also called on government agencies for policy implementations, review and policy amendments if necessary by DepEd, CHED, DOLE, DA, TESDA, among other agencies and local government units (LGUs) on their respective mandates that would address and respond to industry skills and human resource needs.
Source: Philippines News Agency