The Philippines, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Australia sealed a partnership agreement to strengthen and broaden cooperation and mutual assistance in technical vocational education and training (TVET) in their respective countries.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting which Manila is hosting from November 18 to 19.
At the end of the bilateral meeting, President Aquino said, "We likewise welcome the finalization of the Philippines-Australia Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This will allow us to share knowledge, information, and best practices with each other, particularly in areas of mutual interest, and collaborate on significant projects that will enable both the Australian and the Filipino peoples to take hold of their own destinies."
Under the deal, both countries pledged to exchange information in areas of mutual interest, including: TVET systems; competency standards development; assessment and certification, particularly skills assessment for migration and occupational purposes; industry participation in TVET policy development; financing; labor market information; standards development; training delivery; assessment and certification; formal work-based training such as apprenticeship; research and development in TVET; and TVET systems reforms.
Both countries vowed to work together in the joint implementation of projects, including in the areas of strengthening and promoting apprenticeships as a pathway into employment and benchmarking occupational standards and qualifications in priority industry sectors such as agriculture, logistics, construction and mining.
TESDA will also work with its counterpart from Australia in technical assistance for TVET system development including establishment of qualification and quality assurance frameworks to underpin regulation of training delivery and assessment; building industry skills linkages through partnership arrangements; and, capability building of TVET trainers and assessors.
The memorandum of understanding will also pave the way for the facilitation of links between the two governments and their industry organizations. It also envisions to have an exchange of staff through short-term placements in relevant government agencies or industry organizations.
“The agreement will provide a broader exchange across full spectrum of education and training expertise that both the Philippines and Australia have to offer,” Irene Isaac, TESDA Director General, said.
“It is a testament to the two countries’ commitment and regard for the human resource as the most valuable element in national development and growth,” Isaac added.
The deal mandates both countries to establish a joint working group to implement the collaborative activities and to prepare a yearly report on the projects involved in the agreement.
The agreement was signed by Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell. END