MANILA – A measure seeking to address the problem of unemployment, underemployment and job-skills mismatch in the country through the creation of a multi-sectoral council inched closer to final approval after the House of Representatives passed the bill on second reading on Wednesday.
During the plenary session, the chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 7370, which will create a Tripartite Council composed of representatives from the government, academe and industry sector that will formulate and implement policies and relevant programs specific to job-skills mismatch.
Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, chair of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, said the creation of the council will allow educational institutions to better understand the labor market, help them identify where the jobs are, and what skills and competencies are required to fill these vacancies.
“It would focus not only in ensuring that graduates were able to land jobs, but more so on whether they were able to truly utilize their particular set of skills and competencies,” Go said. “It would help the country identify the specific industry needs in terms of manpower requirements, and develop policies that would direct the youth towards these fields of study and profession.”
He said there must be established open and continuous communication lines between learning institutions and the business sector in order to sustain a “mutually edifying symbiotic relationship” between them.
“The synergy created would hopefully yield updated curricula, development of standards and industry practices, and increased productivity among others,” he said.
The tripartite council, according to the bill, shall be attached to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for administrative and budgetary purposes.
For the government sector, representatives shall be composed of the CHED Commissioner, Deputy Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and undersecretaries of the Department of Education, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Trade and Industry.
The academe sector representatives shall be composed of the presidents of the federations of public and private higher education institutions (HEIs), public and private technical vocational institutions (TVIs), and accreditation bodies of HEIs and TVIs.
Meanwhile, the industry sector shall be represented by the presidents of business and industry federations.
Under the measure, the tripartite council shall conduct an inventory, review and evaluation of courses, academic programs and curricula of public and private HEIs, as well as the training programs in TVI.
The council shall also conduct an assessment of the qualifications, skills, and competencies of students and graduates of higher education courses and technical-vocational education and training and inventory of job specifications and skills requirement of various industries.