BUSINESS leaders in Cebu expect more companies to adopt the Dual Training System (DTS) following the passage of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan (TPB) Act.
The DTS, which happens in two venues – the school and the company, combines both theoretical and practical training.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed the TBP Act into law on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 providing incentives to employers, industry stakeholders, and private partners who will facilitate skills development, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing among businesses and workers.
“This is good news. The business incentives will encourage more collaboration in the Dual Training System which will address the relevant skills and experience needed in highly technical occupations,” said Charles Kenneth Co, president of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Co said businesses have been slow to adopt the DTS due to the high cost of training and workforce mobility.
“Hopefully, the incentives are enough to offset this dilemma,” he said citing that companies have to provide trainers and pay the trainees an allowance making the DTS a bit costly to implement.
Co pointed out that in the area of talent development, the quality of education in public schools is a challenge as some students lack nutrition, and there is a high student-to-teacher ratio.
Companies that implement the DTS are mostly engaged in business process management, construction, health, and hospitality.
In the tech sector, Eugene Paden, chief technology officer at Ray Business Technologies (RBT), said the country’s “biggest problem” is the lack of people who can teach, share, and have the industry experience to bring technical advancements into the classroom setting.
“We’ve hired so many new graduates, but we need to train at least six to 12 months. That’s a lot of investment for companies like us before they can be effective,” he said during the Innovation and Technology Summit and Expo held in Cebu.
Paden said the skills mismatch, which has long been a problem in the Philippines, has grown even more challenging in the tech industry simply because technology is always dynamic and evolving.
This, aside from a school curriculum, which is no longer relevant or attuned to the present needs of the industry.
“We are having difficulty finding the right candidates. What we have noticed is that new graduates are mostly not ready to work immediately,” said Paden.
“It is important for us to create strong linkages and coordination between government, academe, and industry to upgrade and update the capabilities of future graduates and to lessen the incidence of skills mismatch,” said Kelie Ko, president of Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Industry leaders expect the TBP to bring positive changes in the country’s workforce, aligning them with the demands of today’s rapidly evolving digital economy.
Melanie Ng, regional governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Central Visayas, said what she liked about the TPB is that it focuses on improving the employability and competitiveness of the Filipino workforce through upskilling and reskilling initiatives.
“Hopefully, this will answer the skills gap that the industry has noticed,” she said.
The TBP will serve as the country’s employment master plan to address unemployment and underemployment.
The country’s unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent in June from 4.3 percent in May, bringing the total number of jobless Filipinos to 2.3 million, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority August report.