The United States Agency for International Development and the Philippine Business for Education have signed a P37-million partnership with companies to bankroll a youth employability program to provide training and employment opportunities to more than 1,000 unemployed and out-of-school youth in the Calabarzon region and Zamboanga City.
The USAID and PBEd agreed to a collaboration with the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association Inc. and canned goods producer Permex to implement the partnership program dubbed YouthWorks PH, the US agency’s private sector-driven youth employability initiative with PBEd.
Through the project, USAID and PBEd are redoubling their efforts to reach the youth by expanding the initiative to more rural areas and adding to the 7,500 current program beneficiaries.
In a virtual event on March 18, PCTA President Jose Luis Dabao pledged to provide cable television and internet service-related technical vocational training to 100 unemployed and out-of-school youth residing in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon City.
Permex, Zamboanga’s leading producer and exporter of canned goods represented by Human Resource Director Mabel Grace Bacolod, committed 1,000 new training opportunities in its food processing department.
The six-month training will include remote mentoring and technical-vocational instruction under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority online program, as well as on-the-job experience and access to Permex’s apprenticeship program
“We enjoin local governments, businesses and training institutions to build on and leverage each other’s efforts so that we give Filipino youth opportunities to enter the workforce during these trying times. We are grateful to PCTA and Permex, big names in the industries of cable TV and food processing, respectively, for working with USAID and PBEd to provide youth with valuable training and work experiences that they can use to be gainfully employed,” said Thomas LeBlanc, Director of USAID Philippines Office of Education.
PBED Executive Director Love Basillote said the continuous partnership with the private sector was a vital component in achieving the YouthWorks PH’s goal.
“It has been a year since we began grappling with the effects of the pandemic on our youth. Many lost their jobs and schooling has stopped, but that does not mean that learning should. We are enthused to join forces with PCTA and Permex to champion our shared advocacy. By offering a venue for skills development, we hone the youth’s potential to be work and future ready,” Basillote said.
Based on the January 2021 Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, four million Filipinos aged 15 and above lost their jobs due to the pandemic—twice the number in 2020.
PCTA and Permex join YouthWorks PH’s growing roster of dedicated partners, which include industry giants such as DMCI, McDonald’s, Aboitiz, Globe, Microsoft and others.