Improved private sector participation in technical education to boost employment

The Philippines must improve private sector participation in technical and vocational education (TVET) in an effort to increase employability of TVET graduates, according to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).
\PIDS revealed that despite the high labor demand, only 34 percent of technical and vocational institution  graduates found employment and only 26 percent consider their training useful for their job.

“Firms possess information about the skills that they need; therefore, their participation is valuable. Improvement in this regard is not just supplying TVET training services to TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) but also in setting priorities,” it noted.
The study said strengthening the role of the private sector in the allocation of TVET resources could be an option.
It cited as an example the arrangement between the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and TESDA.

This allows the former to set scholarship vouchers with higher employment rate requirement for the BPAP in-house trained (80 percent) compared to 50 percent for those trained by other TVIs not affiliated with BPAP.

To improve the performance of the TVET subsector, the study noted that it is time to revive proposals of changing the role of TESDA from a direct service provider to standard regulator and enabler of other more efficient providers.
“The vision is for TESDA’s current responsibility as a training provider to migrate to other institutions, preferably the private sector, in order for TESDA to focus on standard setting and regulation free from distractions and inappropriate entanglements,” it said.

An important reform is the development of an explicit and credible targeting system, maybe an analogous and adapted version of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) program.

“Targeting a good proportion of TESDA subsidies to conditional cash transfer beneficiaries might be a good start -one that would support the administration convergence policy,” it added.