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‘Green skills’ training program to combat climate change, unemployment launched in Cebu

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 30,2024 - 03:00 PM

(From left) Francis Macatulad and Vidal Villanueva III talked about the Project sustainABILITY in an interview with reporters on May 29 in Cebu City. CDN Digital photo | Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A new initiative that aims to address climate change and unemployment in the Philippines has been launched in Cebu.

On Wednesday, May 29, the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), supported by global finance services firm J.P. Morgan, introduced ‘Project sustainABILITY’ in Cebu City.

The project is in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Department of Labor and Employment, and other government agencies.

“We aim to be able to train our youth on green skills so that they can have a meaningful work in participation in the green economy through green jobs,” said Francis Macatulad, executive director of ASSIST.

Green industry

The green industry sector jobs include construction, metals and engineering, automotive and land transportation, as well as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.

The project aims to equip at least 20 technical-vocational institutes to train over 750 instructors, who will in turn train 12,000 students. This initiative will provide valuable career exposure to the students and enhance the instructors’ teaching and career guidance skills, particularly in Metro Manila and Cebu.

Macatulad stated their goal is to train 12,000 students within the next two years and secure good jobs for at least half of them.

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Another goal is to empower students to secure green jobs in these sectors and enable instructors at Technical-Vocational Institutes (TVIs) to independently deliver green skills training, guiding students toward promising employment opportunities.

According to the project’s background, TESDA’s 2018 labor market assessment predicts that the green industry sectors will generate an additional 5.1 million jobs by 2025, offering significant opportunities for green-skilled Filipino workers.

“Unfortunately, the curricula of most Technical-Vocational Institutions (TVis) do not incorporate the necessary green skills in the courses they offer, which contributes to a shortage of a green skilled workforce,” it added.

To address this gap, ‘sustainABILITY’ was launched.

Protect the environment

Vidal Villanueva III, TESDA’s deputy director general for special concerns, stated that the project also aims to protect the environment.

Villanueva and Macatulad attended the event, which included officials and representatives from TESDA, national government agencies, and various industry sectors.

“What we are doing right now is to revisit our training regulations, so that as we continue to cascade training and education to our students and our learners, it is consistent in sustainability, consistent with green technology,” Villanueva said.

They plan to review agricultural practices taught to students and address environmental pollutants in the construction sector.

“So that we can inculcate to the minds of our learners and our students that by using a green technology, dili na kinahanglan nga ma damage pa ang environment after we do the construction,” Villanueva said.

He added that revisiting these areas “are not challenging at all” as it helps them to “change directions.”

Pilot areas

To ensure the project’s sustainability, Macatulad said they are developing curricula and learning materials to extend its impact beyond the project’s duration.

The project was initially launched in Taguig, NCR, on April 12, 2024. Activities and strategies are already in progress, with ASSIST collaborating with national and local government agencies, Philippine trade associations, and industry partners to maximize reach and impact.

Macatulad and Villanueva highlighted that, besides NCR, Cebu was chosen as a pilot area because these are the “most developed urban areas” and “economic powers” of the country. /clorenciana

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TAGS: climate change, skills, Tesda, Unemployment

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