According to the Asian Development Bank
, countries in Asia and the Pacific, including the Philippines, need to upgrade technical and vocational training to create innovative markets and fuel sustainable and inclusive growth.
“Countries in Asia will not be able to create sufficient employment unless they address the serious skills mismatches that exist in their labour markets,” stated Bindu Lohani, Asian Development Bank
vice president for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, making reference to results of the lender's latest report.
“While Asia and the Pacific accounts for almost half of global unemployment, 45% of employers in the region face difficulty in finding suitable talent in their markets,” he added.
“I agree… only to the extent that we should be preparing for industrial needs. Now, the question is what industries in the countries will absorb workers?”, Ofreneo told GMA News Online.
The ADB report, entitled “Skills Development for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Development Asia,” highlighted that countries like Philippines Cambodia, Mongolia, Pakistan and Vietnam have “a high share of low-skilled workers” compared to the rest of the region.
“These countries are faced with skills development demands for up skilling,” the report stated.
Also, a considerable proportion of informal labour force is unable to take full advantage of new opportunities in the market economy, leading to an inequitable growth.
The ADB report said: “Shifting away from the factory-driven growth model of the past requires a technically adept market-driven labour force able to generate creative, cutting edge ideas and products”.
However, “Asia's training systems are struggling to fill employers' needs. Even those with graduate degrees are lacking market-ready technical skills to be absorbed into the workforce,” it added.
Therefore, these findings lead the ADB to conclude that “equipping secondary school and university graduates with employable skills requires a shift from academically-oriented learning to demand-driven course relevant to industry needs.”
“There is greater rationale for demand-driven courses if such demand is more apparent,” Ofreneo said, stressing that Filipinos leave the country owing to its lack of employment opportunities.