By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter
A PARTNERSHIP between the US Chamber of Commerce and Industry (USCI) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is expected to help address the shortage of skilled workers in many industries, a US chamber official said.
John Patrick Goyer, USCI executive director for Southeast Asia, told BusinessWorld that the partnership agreement, signed during the recent Philippine Business Conference and Expo, will focus on upskilling and workforce development.
“Both the Philippines and the US have a common challenge in that there is a lack of skilled workers in information technology (IT) and other knowledge-intensive sectors,” Mr. Goyer said.
He said that in the US, “we have literally hundreds of thousands of jobs that go unfilled because we do not have qualified people to take those jobs on.”
“I know that in the Philippines, there is also a concern about workforce skills keeping up with the demands of the marketplace. So that’s in large part what the memorandum of understanding (MoU) is all about,” he added.
Mr. Goyer said that the partnership is the first time for the USCI to be undertaking a joint workforce and upskilling program.
Under the partnership, both entities are expected to share intelligence on skills in demand, Mr. Goyer said.
“We will talk about the challenges, specifically what are the kinds of skills needed? What kinds of programs are in place already? Where is the gap? What are the deficiencies?” he said.
“For our part, we will share what our experience has been in developing various workforce initiatives with states, municipalities and universities in the US and see where that experience might be relevant to the Philippines,” he added.
He said that the partnership may also address the growing concerns about shifts in demand for talent with the advent of new technologies such as artificial intelligence.
“There is a concern that a lot of those jobs that are done right now by humans will be overtaken by technology. Therefore, the challenge is to keep the skills of the workforce on pace with how the market is evolving,” he added.