MANILA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) signed on Thursday a PHP37-million (USD740,000) partnership with the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association Inc. (PCTA) and canned goods producer Permex to provide training and employment opportunities for more than 1,000 unemployed and out-of-school youth in the Calabarzon Region and Zamboanga City.
The partnership is part of YouthWorks PH, USAID’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 current 7,500 program beneficiaries.
In the virtual event, 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 the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.
Permex, Zamboanga’s leading producer and exporter of canned goods, represented by Human Resource director Mabel Grace Bacolod, also announced 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 Dr. Thomas LeBlanc, Director of USAID Philippines Office of Education.
Continuous collaboration with the private sector is a critical component in achieving YouthWorks PH’s purpose, PBED Executive Director Love Basillote said, adding that a venue for skills development will hone the youth’s potential to be work and future-ready.
“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,” she 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 from 2020. (PR)