‘Not only skill but character’

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Stakeholders from the different sectors gathered at the 2nd Government-Academe-Industry Network, Inc. (GAIN) to push for a resolution that will enable the country to be at par with global workforce standards.

Automation will pave the way towards high-value work, the stakeholders said, so that does not only involve upgrading job skills per se but also boosting factors as employee character, digital skills and language proficiency.

The resolution is aimed at creating a unified national agency that will execute the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) that the GAIN said will enable the country to be at par with the ASEAN Qualification Reference Network (AQRF).

The PQF is a national policy stating educational qualification levels and sets the standard for qualification outcomes for the country’s workers and students.

PQF was institutionalized under Republic Act 10968.

“Not the hundred percent of our graduates are employable. We have to be humble enough to accept what the industries are telling us,” the president of the Association of Local Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation, Dr. Raymundo Arcega, said during the GAIN convention on Friday.

He said that at present, only 5 percent of entry-level programmers are employable and that more than 60 percent cannot be employed.

This, he said, leads to the need for an inventory of skills, as up-scaled digital skills and English language proficiency are among the hurdles for the entrants to gain employment, much more to compete globally.

“We (do not) just need to understand the technical aspect, but also the social-emotional aspect — the soft skills. What they need is how to articulate technology. In the work place when they get hired, definitely there is still skills gap in the technology, because there are certain technical skills that are very unique for the company, but the emotional maturity in English language proficiency is very important,” dean of Graduate Studies for New Era University Dr. Lemuel Rodolfo Brana said.

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