Industry-led advocacy group Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) has thrown its support behind the JobsNext bill, which aims to promote lifelong learning to enable the workforce to take on jobs of the future.
The JobsNext bill, filed by Quezon City Rep. Patrick Michael Vargas, seeks to encourage and incentivize upskilling and reskilling the workforce by creating a skills voucher program that will help Filipinos adapt to automation and digitization.
Based on International Labour Organization (2020) estimates, approximately 7.2 million wage workers could be displaced by 2025 due to automation and COVID-19.
“With this legislation, the youth will be equipped with much-needed skills to prosper amid the continuous digitization and automation of industries. We hope that the Senate will also file a similar bill and both Houses will prioritize hearing this much-needed piece of legislation,” PBEd acting executive director Justine Raagas said.
PBEd is also working with select local government units (LGUs) to pilot the JobsNext program.
PBEd, together with development partners and LGUs, will train at least 1,000 young individuals for future skills needed in areas such as data and artificial intelligence, engineering, cloud computing and content production.
If legislated, JobsNext will not just benefit at least 4.5 million Filipinos but also infuse the economy with a competent and resilient workforce.
PBEd says this policy will address current problems and future-proof the workforce, enabling them to thrive in the changing economic landscape.
“With the current administration’s focus on upskilling the labor force, especially in growth industries, PBEd, with the support of the private sector, underscores the value of lifelong learning for workforce development,” she added.