As government, business leaders and educational institutions struggle with ways to address the problem of unemployment and jobs skills mismatch, the spotlight has been trained on a training system that will hopefully help deal with these woes — Dual Training System (DTS).
At a recent forum organized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and partner institutions, the Philippines and Germany showed how DTS works and how it could be better explored and honed to boost the skills of the potential workforce and help them land in jobs.
The event was a gathering of Filipino and German technical-vocational training (tech-voc)experts, representatives from the business sector and training institutions who all learned about the DTS based on the experience of Philippines and Germany, which were the pioneers in successfully implementing the DTS.
Institutionalized through the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 7686 in 1994, the DTS is an instructional delivery system of technical and vocational education and training that combines in-plant and in-school training, based on a training plan designed and implemented by accredited schools and their partner business establishments.
The forum was organized in partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the German-Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GPCCI) and the K to 12 Plus Project, a German-funded project under the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperationand Development that aims to develop models of school-company partnership in tech-voc in selected industries like manufacturing, electronics, hospitality, construction, as well as micro finance.
Guests during the forum were TESDA deputy director general Teodoro Pascua; Cristof Wegner, Attache and Commercial Counselor, German Embassy; PCCI president Alfredo Yao; and GPCCI dual training director Tristan Loveres; K to 12 PLUS project director Andreas Meyn, GPCCI executive director Peter Kompalla, and officials of tech-voc institutions and companies.
In his message, Pascua highlighted the importance of school-company partnership in tech-voc and challenged the participants to establish closer linkages to improve the quality of their program offerings as well as their graduates.
Mr. Tristan Loveres, TÜV Rheinland Philippines Chief Operating Officer and Dual Training Chairman of GPCCI, on the other hand, underlined that “it is essential to involve the private sector and build up a model according to industry demand and needs.” Following that rule, he said, a sustainable success for the Philippines can be ensured and models can be transferred to a wider audience such as Filipino companies.
Loveres pointed out that the K-12 program might be the game changer and is fully fitting to the opinion of the private sector that is looking for a higher level of practical training, especially during high school.
Yao, on behalf of the PCCI, expressed “the need for the Philippine tech-voc system to be more industry-driven and competency based to produce workers that are flexible and adaptable to changing work environment.”
Wegner shared that dual education and training is a key element for the competitiveness of German industries. He added that it is also a major contributor to the lowest rate of youth unemployment among larger European economies.
During the presentations of German and Philippine best practices in DTS implementation, Tobias Bolle of GPCCI gave a sharing on the German experience on the implementation of the DTS and how the German system can be successfully applied in the Philippines, while giving the view of the German company was Portia Alibanban of CS Garments.
The Philippine experience of implementing DTS was given by Eliseo Go of the University of Makati, Anne Marie Jacinto of Punlaan School, and Leonardo Aguinaldo of the Marco Polo Hotel.
TESDA director Marta Hernandez discussed the DTS incentives and accreditation.
According to TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, DTS is a sound investment towards a strong workforce and a growing economy. He said that the advent of globalization, the ASEAN Economic Cooperation and other international trade agreements, and the fast-paced technological advancement compels the Philippine tech-voc system to be more industry-driven and competency-based to be able to produce workers who are able to adapt to the work environment.
Villanueva added that DTS is a win-win system because it gives trainees with a sturdy grip on the ladder of opportunity, and employers with skilled workers needed to grow their business. END