Saturday, August 5, 2023

PLDT and Smart collaborate with PBEd to enhance the digital skills of nearly 6,000 young individuals

“Together with PBEd, PLDT and Smart are working closely with local government units across the country to equip the youth with skills that will make them more attractive to potential employers.” ~Cathy Yang, FVP and Head of Group Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart

PLDT, the prominent telecommunications network, along with its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, has partnered with Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) to assist approximately 6,000 young trainees in preparing for future job opportunities through PBEd's JobsNext initiative. This program is being executed across seven regions: Laguna, Quezon City, and Sorsogon in Luzon; Eastern Samar, Samar province, and Negros Occidental in the Visayas; and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao. To facilitate virtual training sessions organized by local government units, PLDT has supplied 100 units of Home WiFi, while Smart has contributed 100 prepaid Pocket WiFi devices to these locations.

“As workplaces become increasingly technology-driven, it is important to ensure that our young people have the right tools to adapt and succeed in their chosen careers. JobsNext is committed to providing our youth with the training and resources they need to be future-ready.” ~Justine Raagas, PBEd Executive Director

The training program focuses on building fundamental abilities encompassing digital literacy, essential tech principles, higher-level Information Technology (IT) education paths, and specific instruction in cloud and assistive technologies.

In a recent report about the job market in the Philippines, published this year by the World Bank, it was observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the difficulty for young Filipinos to join the workforce. The international financial institution recommended that the Philippine government offer specialized assistance to the youth by actively integrating eco-friendly and digital components into skill enhancement initiatives. The World Bank pointed out that surveys indicate the Philippines' workforce is trailing behind its regional counterparts in fundamental digital competencies.

Based on the Labor Department’s regional consultations, most of the emerging opportunities will come from the Green, I.T. and Platform, and Creative industries. The agency sees the IT-BPM sector growing into a USD 59-billion industry in the next three years, opening more than a million new direct jobs.  

Support for the JobsNext program aligns with PLDT and Smart’s aspiration to help produce industry-ready graduates to meet the increasingly digital demands of industries. This also underscores the PLDT group’s close collaboration with the national government, through the Digital Infrastructure pillar of the Private Sector Advisory Council or PSAC. As a PSAC founding member, PLDT’s initiatives that connect, digitize, and empower Filipinos and drive the country's economic ambitions are perfectly aligned with the government’s key digitalization efforts. 

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