‘Modern’ skills in PHL workplace to depend on constant industry-schools dialogue — ORT Israel

THE PHILIPPINE government must enable constant dialogue between industry and schools to ensure that the future workforce is equipped with modern skills needed to be globally competitive, according to Israel’s largest education network.

“We need to really create a close dialogue between the industry and education sector,” Alona Kletsel, head of international business development and marketing of ORT Israel, told a media roundtable in Taguig City on July 5.

“The (dialogue participants) need to be quick enough and prompt enough, agile, to be able to adapt education programs in real time to real industry needs.”

ORT, which is funded by Israel’s Ministry of Education, has 30 vocational colleges and 220 secondary education schools worldwide.

She was in Manila last week to meet with officials from the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education Skills and Development Authority, local government units, and universities on the potential use of artificial technology (AI) to lighten teacher workloads.

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said ORT is working closely with the private and public education industries to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs.

“The start of innovation and technology is teaching and educating innovation and technology to the future leadership of the country,” he said at the roundtable.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has said his government aims to create at least three million new jobs through upskilling and reskilling programs.

Last year, he signed the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act, which sets up an inter-agency council to draft an employment roadmap to improve the quality of jobs available.

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan has said the 10-year jobs masterplan must include plans to allow workers to keep up with emerging technologies such as AI.

In a 2023 report, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the Philippines should use education technology to bridge the skills gap or risk job losses due to rapid technological advancements.

“In order to expose the children to the industry (they wish to pursue), you have to show them the road which will lead them to work in this organization,” Ms. Kletsel said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez