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CALABARZON CAREER ADVOCATES GEAR UP FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK
DOLE CALABARZON Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena in his Opening Message.

Around 200 members of the Region’s Network of Guidance Counselors and Career Advocates, tripartite industry partners, employment services officers and regional-line agencies gathered as the Department of Labor and Employment CALABARZON Regional Office spearheaded the 6th Regional Career Advocacy Congress with the theme PH 4.0: Preparing for a Digital-Ready Workforce held on 09 September 2019 at Alta D’ Tagaytay, Province of Cavite.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its Future of Jobs Report, there will be around seven (7) million jobs are expected to be lost due to automation specifically those jobs that are repetitive in nature, involve patterns and require less creativity. Meanwhile, the International Labor Organization (ILO) predicts that there are some 137 million workers in five (5) South East Asian countries, including the Philippines, are likewise at risk of being affected by the said generational revolution. On the other hand, about two (2) million jobs, mostly focusing on technology, software development and soft skills will be of high demand in the near future. Hence, the DOLE, in partnership with various key stakeholders, took the lead on how do we prepare our future workforce to be digital-ready in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe).

Asec. Mariano R. Alquiza (third from the left) receives a token and plaque of appreciation from Regional Director Jalbuena together with all DOLE Region IV-A Provincial Directors and Heads and ACESI President Ferdinand F. Colliflores.

DOLE CALABARZON Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena said that he is delighted with theresults of this annual activity as it relays specific challenges and opportunities on how do we harness the impacts of the FIRe, more importantly in the education sector as the same has to work harder on developing the soft-skills of our learners for them to be employable as the FIRe prepares for its full swing. These skills are critical thinking, creative problem solving, decision making, communication, collaboration and the likes. Director Jalbuena likewise reported that the activity aims to relay to the career guidance advocates that our educators must further innovate on teaching those soft-skills rather than prepare our students for jobs that would not exist in the future.

The activity was graced by DOLE Assistant Secretary for Employment and Migrant Workers Welfare Mariano R. Alquiza. In his keynote speech, Asec. Alquiza reported that the Philippine government is continuously exerting efforts to attain and sustain a competitive workforce that supports and complements the demands of the ever-changing landscape of work. Part of which is addressing the prevailing job-skills mismatch, which is predicted to further deepen in the era of FIRe. He likewise enjoined everyone to provide “timely, up-to-date, relevant, and comprehensive labor market information and the development of mechanisms to help the youth and jobseekers make informed education, training, and career choices” as it becomes more relevant in this era.

DOLE Assistant Secretary for Employment and Migrant Workers Welfare Mariano R. Alquiza, CESO III in his Keynote Message.

As part of the learning sessions, Institute for Labor Studies Executive Director Ahmma Charisma L. Satumba highlighted agriculture sector will be the most vulnerable as she identifies those jobs in the Philippine context which are at risk of automation, followed by the services sector and industrial sector. Likewise, she identified perception and manipulation skills, creativity and social intelligence as skills that are still out of reach of automation, alongside with analytical thinking, active learning, leadership skills, emotional intelligence, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.

To manage and even flourish the risks associated with the FIRe, the government must therefore adjust our education and training modalities, emphasizing in 21st century skills, investing in research and development, promoting science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, and improve employers’ awareness on Senior High School curriculum. The government shall also rethink transitional support and safety nets for affected workers, and innovate how humans work alongside machines, hence re-skilling and upskilling is a must.

Meanwhile, Ms. Evangeline Aviñante presented the DOLE’s labor market signaling study dubbed as the JobsFit 2022 which highlighted the industries that will generate jobs up until 2022, and how career guidance and employment coaching will play a vital role in shaping the future workforce was presented by Dr. Sheila Marie G. Hoscon of the Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association. University of Makati Executive Vice-President Dr. Raymundo P. Arcega then presented the academe perspectives on developing the future workforce, while Ms. Hazel A. Magpantay of the Philippine Mental Health Association highlighted the need for strong mental health and socio-emotional skills in the digital-age.

Director Jalbuena likewise noted that the activity posed a challenge of convergence among the government offices, both national and local, academe, industry and other relevant partners to prepare for a digital-ready workforce towards realizing the goals of the AmBisyon Natin 2040 of having a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay for our CALABARZON workforce.

by:

JORGE MANUEL C. LAUDE
TSSD EW LIO-designate

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2019-09-10
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