Chapter 4. Towards an action plan for jobs in the Philippines: Recommendations and best practices

This chapter outlines the key recommendations emerging from a review of local job creation policies in the Philippines. These include measures that should be considered by the national government as well as the cities of Taguig, Cebu, and Davao to better connect people to jobs, stimulate more responsive skills development training at the local level, and ensure that economic development efforts are better coordinated with employment programmes.


Overall recommendations

  • Promote the establishment of one-stop PESOs which combine employment and training services into one office and integrate employment and skills programmes;

  • Continue to develop an evaluation framework to measure the success of the JobStart programme and continuously improve the delivery of programme over the long-term;

  • Introduce work-based training programmes which network employers and promote skills development opportunities, which are better linked to labour market demand.

Recommendations for case study areas

Taguig City

  • Launch youth entrepreneurship programmes to promote job creation and development;

  • Establish an employer officer within the PESO to build stronger employment engagement and mine job vacancies.

Cebu City

  • Make stronger use of the Chamber of Commerce as an advisory body on the relevance of policies and programmes;

  • Promote the better utilisation of skills to boost innovation and productivity.

Davao City

  • Establish a workforce development board, which would bring together local employment, training, and economic development actors with employers;

  • Expand scholarship programmes to other sectors of the local economy with high quality jobs.

Towards an action plan for jobs: Recommendations for the national level in the Philippines

Recommendation: Promote the establishment of one-stop PESOs which combine employment and training services into one office and integrate employment and skills programmes

Public employment services can play an important role in boosting the quantity and quality jobs. This can be achieved through direct mechanisms such as active labour market programmes, including wage subsidies or indirect ways, such as through the effective matching of people to job opportunities. Increasingly, public employment services are key actors in broader economic development opportunities strategies by reaching out to employers and stimulating good quality employment opportunities.

Public employment services (referred to as PESOs) in the Philippines are in various stages of being institutionalised across the country. These employment services play a key role in assisting unemployed job seekers as well as working with employers to fill skill needs. Looking at the supply and demand of skills, one can see strong regional variations across the Philippines. Flexible training, education and employment services are required in the Philippines to proactively respond to skills gaps that may act as barriers and obstacles to business growth and expansion. This OECD study looked at local implementation practices in the Taguig, Cebu and Davao. While all three areas fall into a high-skills equilibrium relative to other regions in the Philippines, more must be done to promote skills development opportunities and work with employers to move them into higher value added production.

The study has focused on the role of the local level in addressing potential skills mismatches and promoting job creation and economic development. Recent government legislation in the Philippines has articulated that PESOs shall be established in all provinces, cities, and municipalities, operated and maintained by local government units, and linked to the regional offices of the DOLE for co-ordination and technical supervision to constitute the national public employment service network. In the Philippines, some employment and training services are fragmented (e.g. delivered by separate agencies at the local level) implying a need for greater co-ordination and integration.

Going forward, DOLE should promote the establishment of one-stop employment services, which combine employment and training programmes under the PESO umbrella. The PESO organisation in Cebu City provides a best practice model upon which other PESOs in the Philippines could design programmes and services. The PESO in Cebu City demonstrates the importance of providing both employment and training services in an integrated manner to better link job seekers to employment. Through the national PESO network, the DOLE should seek to promote “what works” in better designing employment services to provide a more client-oriented approach. At the national level, the DOLE should work with TESDA to promote the organisation of local PESOs, which effectively combine employment and training programme in an integrated manner.

Recommendation: Continue to develop an evaluation framework to measure the success of the JobStart programme and continuously improve the delivery of programme over the long-term

The JobStart Programme represents an important government initiative in the Philippines to provide youth with good job opportunities. During this study, several local stakeholders in Taguig, Cebu, and Davao expressed strong support and excitement about the potential and results already achieved by the programme, which assist unemployed youth, find decent jobs by supporting them to make informed career decisions, and improving their technical skills. Through effective implementation at the local level and strong collaboration among stakeholders, the JobStart formula can help to address potential skills mismatches, while also promoting broader economic development, job creation and growth. PESOs at the local level are key actors as the primary institution implementing a variety of active labour market programmes including job search assistance, training and placement for the unemployed.

DOLE has already undertaken some steps to evaluate the programme. This includes a mid-term evaluation conducted in 2014, which included structured interviews to assess perceptions of the programme’s effectiveness. Furthermore, a 2015 impact evaluation survey was also conducted to ascertain the views of a number of youth using PESO services. A tracer study is also ongoing, which will aim to look at the types of activities being pursued by programme participants. These are important steps in developing a greater understanding of the employment and skills impacts of the programme. Going forward, it will be important to develop an evaluation framework with consistent and comparable indicators collected across all PESOs to measure the incremental impacts of the programme. Future evaluations should also aim to take into account deadweight effects to measure the incremental impact of the programme. As the programme continues its roll-out, more longitudinal data and information will be become available. Therefore, evaluations should also aim to measure the short and long-term benefits of the programme, such as whether participants remain in a job after 6 and 12 months (or even after 24 months).

Developing an evaluation culture is a critical part of the policy development process to ensure that programmes are subjected to a cycle of continuous improvement. Furthermore, evaluations provide national policy makers with information upon which potential policy and programme changes can be made to ensure that both employers and youth benefit from the programme.

Recommendation: Introduce work-based training programmes which network employers and promote skills development opportunities, which are better linked to labour market demand

Empowering businesses to growth and hire is at the heart of policies geared to job creation and productivity. Employers are key partners in any policies or programmes, which seek to boost skills development opportunities and promote employment. In many cases, employers are willing to take a more active role in the design and delivery of skills development programmes. Furthermore, local level actions can spur employers to offer more in-work training and internships, particularly in firms that traditionally offer low levels of training such as SMEs.

Building on the JobStart Programme, DOLE should consider how to provide incentives to employers to encourage them to network on a sector or regional level. These types of initiative would enable employers to take a stronger leadership role in skills development programmes. Employer networks represent an important level for harnessing and increasing employer investments in skills development and for overcoming potential barriers to training, such as lack of awareness, difficulty in accessing provision and challenges related to costs (UKCES, 2013). Research from the United Kingdom has identified a number of network types, such as group training associations, industrial training boards, geographically-based networks and clusters, higher education/industry collaborations and business incubators, trade associations/sectoral employer associations, supply chain networks, or informal networks without an established mode of organisation (UKCES, 2013).

Employer networks exist in the Philippines, such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI) and the Employer’s Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP). Any approaches to further incentivise employer investments in training should involve these key stakeholder groups at the national. A pilot programme could be launched, which would aim to encourage employer networks at the local level to define training needs and then partner with the TVET sector to participate skills training programmes. These type of programme could be targeted at lower-skilled employees or unemployed individuals who are offered and internship or work-based learning opportunity. This type of approach would complement the JobStart programme by focusing more specifically on work-based training led by employers.

There are good examples of publicly funded employer-led skills development programs in the Philippines for DOLE to draw on. The Department of Tourism piloted the Tourism Skills Development Program which provided matching grants to tourism enterprises to fund short term, relevant skills of their employees. A preliminary evaluation of the pilot showed positive benefits to enterprises including improvement in workforce productivity, service standards and enterprise revenues. One fifth of employees trained under the scheme received TESDA NCII certification or other national or internationally recognized certification (see Box 4.1).

Box 4.1. Tourism Skills Development Project in the Philippines

With Asian Development Bank and Government of Canada assistance, the Department of Tourism in 2014 launched a pilot project to test strategies for promoting skills development in the industry in order improve competitiveness. The scheme provided a matching grant of between USD 10 000 and USD 100 000 to enterprises to fund short term skills training at the enterprise level over a 9-12 month period. Enterprises applied for the grant on a competitive basis, either in as a single enterprise applicant or as part of a network of enterprises. Enterprises identified their own skill training needs and engaged trainers to design and carry out custom-made training to their employees. Trainers could be engaged locally or from overseas.

A monitoring and evaluation framework was included in each grant award specifying key performance indicators. The pilot project was implemented in Bohol, Cebu, Davao and Palawan from 2014 to 2016. Grant proposals that included TESDA NCII certification or other training certification for employees were scored additional points during proposal evaluations. The scheme also required that at least 55% of trainees were female, where practical. The scheme demonstrated a cost effective way of delivering market relevant skills training that directly benefited the employer and employee.

Main results of the pilot were as follows:

  • 48 grants awarded for a total of USD 1 243 000;

  • Average training cost per employee was USD 131;

  • 7 550 employees received training, of which 1 850 trainees received recognized certification;

  • 47% of trainees were women.

Common skill training included customer service, sales and reservations, tour guiding skills, menu development and kitchen operations, language skills, front office, food and beverage, culinary and housekeeping, among others.

Preliminary impact evaluation reported improved workforce productivity and service standards, increased enterprise revenues, and several enterprises reported improved ratings on various tourism sites including trip advisor. The evaluation also showed that scheme’s transparency and competition in the application process, enterprise-led process, the establishment of (informal) enterprise training networks, and flexibility for enterprises to engage trainers from the Philippines or from overseas was instrumental in the pilot project demonstrating impact. The Department of Tourism is preparing for a national rollout of the funding scheme in 2017.

Source: Asian Development Bank.

Skillnets in Ireland provides a good international example upon which the Tourism Skills Developmet Project in the Philippines was developed. Skillnets in Ireland is a state-funded, enterprise-led body that co-invests with enterprises, particularly SMEs, when they co-operate in networks to identify and deliver training suited to their workforces. A network of SMEs, which are mostly sectoral or regional, is guided by a steering group of the local enterprise representatives. The steering group gives strategic direction and guidance to a network manager who co-ordinates all operational activity leading to the delivery of an agreed training plan with learning interventions suited for the member company workforces (OECD, 2014a). Another example comes from the United Kingdom, where the government is giving employers more direct control over the design and delivery of training solutions to address skills shortages and improve business performance through a series of investment funds designed to promote employer-led skills solutions, through building the capacity and capability for employers to take ownership of the skills agenda (OECD, 2015a).

The Employer Ownership of Skills Fund offers all employers in England direct access to up to £ 340 million of public investment (over a four year period) to design and deliver their own training solutions. The programme is jointly overseen by UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. The overall aim is to find more effective ways to improve skills in the workforce and to use these improved skills to create jobs, drive enterprise and economic growth by seeking co-investment from employers. The programme is open to employers of all sizes and sectors within England. Particularly encouraged are bids from groups of employers working together in their sector, supply chain or local area (OECD, 2015a). Another good example comes from the United States (see Box 4.2).

Box 4.2. Employer Resource Networks in the United States

ERNs grew out of two concurrent initiatives in 2000 local employers’ need to reduce turnover among low-wage workers and a community consensus to reduce poverty. Issues that may catalyze an ERN model include: employee retention; presence of a skills gap between employer needs and employees’ current skills level causing vacancies in higher paying middle skilled jobs; poverty reduction in the low-wage workforce; family financial literacy and asset development; and decreasing public assistance expenditures.

Primary stakeholders: ERN stakeholders include small to mid-sized companies and their employees; public human services and workforce development agencies; private non-profits; community colleges and vocational training organisations; and local, regional and national foundations and United Ways.

ERNs are consortia of businesses created to share the resources and expense of building the skills and capacities of their entry-level, often disadvantaged, workers.

Small and mid-sized businesses pool resources to accomplish together what they cannot accomplish individually – composed of several (e.g., 6-8) small and mid-sized businesses.

Services are targeted to entry-level workers but open to all employees – targeted to those most at risk for job turnover – low-wage, low-skilled, entry-level workers. All employees are able to access ERN services as needed, however. Participation in ERN services is voluntary for employees. Although, supervisors may include ERN services as part of a corrective action plan for workers with poor performance or behavioral problems that are disruptive to the work environment.

The primary focus is job retention, with a strong secondary focus on skill building – designed with the explicit goal of improving job retention of the existing workforce, and providing opportunities for skill building and advancement. Trainings may be industry-specific or focus on general job skills training. ERNs also provide soft skills training on topics such as problem solving, time management, and conflict resolution.

Capacity is expanded through public and private partnerships – ERNs forge relationships with a mixture of local community partners – non-profits, public agencies, and community and technical colleges – to expand the range of resources they can make available to their employees. Where possible, ERNs rely on leveraged resources (funding and in-kind) from these partners or, because of the high volume of employees served or trained, pay for services from the community partner at a discounted cost. ERNs provide a number of services to employers:

  • Short-term, “high touch” case management – aim is to resolve any personal and family challenges that interfere with employment, such as: lack of transportation, childcare, or housing; relationship stress; mental health conditions; and drug or alcohol addictions. ‘Retention specialists’ link employees with existing service providers in the community that offer different resources and services.

  • Job and life skills training – create “shared-seat trainings” whose costs are shared by a number of businesses. Training may be: soft-skills training; job skills training (such as computer training); educational programmes (such as English as a second language and Spanish-language courses); and general trainings on asset development (financial literacy and home ownership).

  • Specialised resources and supports – help improve employees’ access to a range of work supports (e.g. preparation of income tax returns to ensure that eligible employees benefit from tax credits; wellness programmes with a focus on disease prevention and management, including health assessments, smoking cessation programmes, and fitness counselling).

The Success Coach from an ERN works with employees on-site at their place of employment before or after their work shift. ERN success coaches are not in central, social service locations but on-site at participating company workplaces. Their caseload is typically 1/3 that of a public case worker. Success coach accessibility and availability are keys to the ERN success: employees have immediate and direct access to counselling and referrals; and employers retain workers whose

Source: OECD (2016), OECD Reviews on Local Job Creation: Employment and Skills Strategies in Canada, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Improving employment and skills policies in Taguig City: Recommendations

Recommendation: Launch youth entrepreneurship programmes to promote job creation and development

Looking more specific at policies and programme to promote employment and economic development in Taguig City, this study has highlighted a number of interesting initiatives, which have been introduced in the city to promote development and link both unemployed adults and youth to better jobs. Taguig City is a dynamic area of Metro Manila, with a strong base of companies located in the city upon which to build future growth. The mayor has launched scholarship programmes to boost skills development and educational attainment in the city. These types of programmes are a welcome development and should be continued and/or expanded in the future. To promote job creation going forward, more could be done to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option for youth. In many countries, there is evidence that young people are enthusiastic about starting businesses (including non-profit) but they face greater barriers when starting a business due to lower levels of skills, less experience, more difficulty accessing financing, and less developed business networks. In Taguig City, more should be done to support the acquisition of entrepreneurship skills by youth by embedding entrepreneurship teaching throughout the education system, providing information, advice, coaching and mentoring, facilitating access to financing, and offering support infrastructure for business start-up.

The city should work with the local universities to raise awareness about the importance of embedding entrepreneurship skills into curriculum. It is important that these skills are embedded into a range of university and TVET courses – not just business courses. The city could also examine piloting a youth entrepreneurship programme, which would assist young aspiring entrepreneurs with a concrete business idea to support and sustain their own business. The city should examine the establishment of business incubation centres, which would promote the networking of youth and develop a strong sense of entrepreneurial culture in the city.

Recommendation: Establish an employer officer within the PESO to build stronger engagement with local employers and anticipate job openings

In Taguig City, the PESO is quite active in matching people to jobs. This report has highlighted the Taguig City Integrated Information System, which is a comprehensive database that enables tracking of residents and the collection of standardised information on employment and training outcomes. The PESO conduct regular employers’ forums, which they are trying to share information with local employers are potential job applicants and resident living in the city. This is important to build trust with employers and to develop the skills needed for the workforce of today and tomorrow.

The PESO could establish an employer officer, which would be a designated individual within the PESO that would be responsible for building local contacts with employers and understanding their needs. By separating this function within the employment service (as opposed to have officers who work both with clients and employers), the PESO could continue to build on the good work already achieved to build employer build-in and awareness of the role of employment services. Taguig could look to Australia, where the Job Services Australia providers typically employ a “reverse marketer” within the employment service to work with employers and generate job vacancies before they are posted (see Box 4.3).

Box 4.3. Stimulating demand through Reverse Marketers in Australia

The term reverse marketing has been in use for some time to describe a marketer who helps consumers to achieve their goals without trying to sell them anything. It works by making the consumer come to you, not you to them. The term, reverse marketing, is now commonly used in the Australian employment services industry. It refers to the practice of providers actively marketing job seekers to potential employers where vacancies have not been advertised, and referring and placing job seekers into those jobs. Reverse marketing provides a mechanism to stimulate demand for labour by pre-empting employers’ labour needs before they create a vacancy. Effective reverse marketing can play an important role in the wider employment services framework by providing job ready job seekers with access to vacancies that may not otherwise exist.

In Australia, reverse marketers target specific employers with whom the job seeker is likely to be able to find sustainable employment. This means understanding the skills, attributes and desire of the job seeker to work in a specific industry and matching these to local employers who are most likely to need additional labour, and having a strategy to “sell” the job seeker to these employers. It is in the best interests of both providers and job seekers that providers target their reverse marketing activities according to the needs of their local labour market.

Improving employment and skills policies in Cebu City: Recommendations

Recommendation: Make stronger use of the Chamber of Commerce as an advisory body on the relevance of policies and programmes

This report has highlighted a number of policy actions, which have been taken in Cebu to further promote employment and skills. The PESO in Cebu stands out as a best practice model in the Philippines for the way in which employment and skills services are integrated into one PESO office. The PESO also offers an impressive range of training programmes, which can be customised and delivery efficiently to employer needs. Cebu is in Phase 1 of the JobStart Programme, which will help the city to offer good skills training and employment opportunities to youth. This programme will also enable the city to continue building good relationships with employers.

Engaging employers in employment and training services is an important policy priority and one that should be a key strategic objective for Cebu. The Chamber of Commerce in Cebu is an important employer-based network upon which stronger partnerships could be developed. The PESO should aim to establish a strong strategic partnership with the Chamber that would focus on issues of workforce development and productivity. Under the current arrangement, most of the focus is labour relations. Social dialogue is a key mechanism through which the PESO can better understand the local labour market and the future growth possibilities. This report has highlighted a recommendation for the Philippines to launc programmes, which encourage stronger employer networks, which deliver skills development opportunities and leverage public investment to increase employer participation in training opportunities. Cebu could focus some resources on this type of programming to foster strong skills development opportunities among local employers. The city has already launched programmes around Call Centre training, which offer scholarships to trainees; however an employer focus approach would more specifically target the needs of employers around skills training opportunities and focus on other sectors of the local economy, which present growth opportunities.

Local TVET institutions in Cebu should also establish programme advisory councils, with the majority of membership comprised of employers. These advisory bodies could provide advice on the relevance of TVET programmes to ensure that individuals who completed their training possess the right skills and knowledge to the local jobs that are on offer. The PESO (through DOLE and TESDA) could work with local TVET institutions to examine the most effective way to establish such a governance network.

Recommendation: Promote the better utilisation of skills to boost innovation and productivity

OECD research has highlighted that investment in the supply of skills alone will not be sufficient to secure job creation and productivity in all local economies. The degree to which local employers are demanding and using skills also has to be taken into account (OECD, 2014b). As previously highlighted, Cebu has undertaken a number of actions to boost the overall supply of skills in the economy. While these actions should continue and be expanded, there is also a need to work on the demand-side with employers to look at the quality of jobs on offer and how to move existing industries into higher-value added services and production. By moving into high-value added services and production, Cebu will be working to encourage innovation and productivity, which are important sources of investment attraction and growth.

While much is being done to promote and expand the BPO sector, there is a risk of devoting too many resources. It is also important to work with other sectors of the economy, such as retail, health and educational services to boost the quality of jobs on offer. Furthermore, in sectors, such as manufacturing and shipping, there is a need to work with local employers to assist them in strategically thinking about workforce development issues. OECD research (OECD, 2012) has outlined a number of effective practices in this area, including:

  • Supporting technology transfer: facilitating investment in new technology by employers, setting up partnerships for the sharing of innovation and new technologies.

  • Providing technical assistance to improve working conditions and work organisation: this may mean the re-professionalisation of front-line positions in some sectors and a reduction in dependence on temporary staff, while in others it may mean applying lean manufacturing techniques. Providing staff with enough time to pass on skills and learning is also important.

  • Encouraging participation in training for both managers and workers: better trained managers are likely to create more productive working environments for their staff. At the same time, companies need to be encouraged to make training and other skills development opportunities available to their employees.

Management practices are important here, as new ideas are more likely to emerge when workers have the ability to use their discretion and “learn by doing”. This applies both to workers involved in production, and workers directly dealing with and responding to customer needs (Froy and Giguère, 2010). Of course, the ability of firms to move towards higher-value added product market sectors will depend on access to appropriate markets. Strategies to upgrade product market strategies need to be accompanied by strategies to build local markets and better access regional, national and international markets.

TVET institutions can play an important role in this policy area by working with employers to undertake applied research and look at how they are using technology and their manufacturing process. By working more closely with employers, new ideas and concepts for work organisation can be developed and implemented on the shop floor. As highlighted earlier, Employer associations can also play a key role in helping employers, and particularly SMEs, to “raise their game”, through developing trust-based relationships between firms that stimulate knowledge sharing and collaborative investment.

Cebu could look to an example from Flanders, Belgium (OECD, 2015b). In Flanders, practice labs for innovative work organisation have been set up to work with businesses on work organisation issues. The ACV union has played a key role in establishing and implementing the initiative. The practice labs have been set up in the construction, logistics, healthcare, social economy, social service/care sector and agricultural sectors. Separate labs were established for each sector but in fact, labs can work with mixed groups, and can support both large and small firms. Eight workshops have taken place in 2013/14, each involving 6-8 companies. A consultant was hired to work on the workshops. They function as a learning network where companies share experience. Managers are encouraged to consider where they can effect change to make sure that workers have more involvement in the way that the firm operates.

Improving employment and skills policies in Davao City: Recommendations

Recommendation: Establish a workforce development board, which would bring together local employment, training, and economic development actors with employers

Davao City has a number of strong assets upon which to build future growth and competitiveness. During the course of this OECD study, it was evident that strong leadership from city officials in Davao has built a strong level of commitment among local stakeholders to work together to develop the labour market and local economy. This study has highlighted the Human Resources Development Plan currently being developed by Davao in an effort to project future skills needs and plan skills development and training offers accordingly. This exercise is welcomed and represents an important planning tool for workforce development. In planning for current and future labour market, Davao should consider establishing a formal workforce development board, which would be comprised of local stakeholders and would act as an advisory panel to the mayor on the city’s labour market.

This type of board could be established with the majority of membership comprising local employers. It would also be important that the PESO is on the board as well as the local universities and TVET institutions. The board could meet on a regular basis (e.g. every 6-12 months) with the goal of developing an annual workforce development plan for the Davao region. The board could also be tasked with collecting and disseminating labour market information on key trends and future skills needs in Davao. During this OECD study, it was evident that there is some partnership working in Davao; however, it would be beneficial to formalise this collaboration in a multi-stakeholder forum to gather the view from both the supply and demand side of the labour market.

OECD research has highlighted the benefits of actions to improve partnerships, such as the establishment of collective goals across local stakeholders, and how they can be effective in bringing employers and jobs into a locality (Froy et al., 2011). Regional and local actors can play a critical role in articulating a vision of the future for the local economy and what measures are necessary to drive economic growth in an inclusive and sustainable manner. Partnerships can also play a critical role in responding to large-scale downsizing and help communities facing structural adjustment re-focus their skills and economic development activities. There are a number of examples of formal local governance arrangements focusing on employment and skills from other OECD countries (see Box 4.4).

Box 4.4. Integration between employment, skills and economic development through formal governance arrangements

Workforce investment boards in the United States: In the United States, the local workforce investment boards (WIBs) have played a strong role in creating more integrated strategies to address employment and skills within broader economic development strategies locally since 1998. There are over 600 WIBs across the United States, at the state and local level, and they are strongly business-led, being both chaired by business and having a majority of business members. Each local workforce investment area is governed by such a board, which is responsible for providing employment and training services within a specific geographic area. The WIBs administer Workforce Investment Act services as designated by the governor and within the regulations of the federal statute and US Department of Labor guidelines. There are also designated seats for representatives from labour unions and local educational institutions, with economic development officials sitting on the boards in many states. While performance of the boards varies, in some areas they have developed strong integrated strategies which bridge across employment, skills and economic development. The local WIBs are typically an extension of a local government unit, which in most cases is the county government and can include more than one government entity. They are not agencies of the federal or state governments, and the staff are not comprised of federal or state employees.

Four-Party Association, Korea: Since 2008, several national government bodies, including the MOEL, have sought to induce the participation of labour and business leaders in tackling urgent local issues, such as local job creation and human resource development. In addition, an effort was made to not only include representatives of the labour force, management and the government, but also representatives of the community. This association shares the common goal of promoting joint local initiatives between employers and unions in order to stimulate skills development and employment. As a result of this new initiative, by 2010, a Local Association of the Representatives of Labour, Management, Government and Community had been established in 16 metropolitan cities and in 82 lower levels of local government.

Workforce Planning Boards, Canada: In Ontario, Canada there are 25 Workforce Planning Boards who conduct localised research and actively engage organisations and community partners in local labour market projects. Every local workforce planning board publishes detailed reports about its labour market projects, activities and partnerships. Local workforce planning boards champion local workforce development solutions for their communities and help to strategically align the actions of all local stakeholders in the community.

Source: OECD (2014b), Job Creation and Local Economic Development, OECD Publishing Paris.

Recommendation: Expand skills development programmes to other sectors of the local economy with high quality jobs

Skills are a key driver of growth and a key route out of poverty for many individuals. In the knowledge-based economy, it is important that individuals are developing generic skills as well as more occupationally-specific skills, which can enable them to find a job. Good generic skills come from a strong school education. At the same time local people need to be able to access employment and training systems throughout their working lives to build more specialised skills and respond to changing skills demands – through systems of “life-long learning”. In practical terms, life-long learning means opening up education and training systems to new target groups (working adults, older people) and ensuring that it is accessible to those with other demands on their time (e.g. heavy workloads and family responsibilities) (Froy and Giguère, 2010).

In Davao, there is a strong focus on developing skills linked to the BPO sector. Currently, there are a number of strong initiatives being developed to ensure that the skills needed to work in this sector are effectively articulated and embedded in local training courses. During this OECD study visit, local stakeholders in Davao highlighted the importance of these initiatives and how they will have broader impacts on other sectors the local economy. While these initiatives are important, Davao should also consider skills development programmes, which target sectors that traditionally host poor quality jobs. This includes retail, services and hospitality sector. Going forward, Davao could work with local employers to offer skills development programmes to individuals working in these types of sectors. This would enable individuals working in these sectors accessing to career progression opportunities and improved wages. For the employers, more skills training would provide them with productive workers, which would improve the company’s overall business performance.


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