Last August 25 2018, our partner subsidiary in career training & development- SFI Career Center, was given the honor to present on the 10th International Conference on Teacher Education Conference which was held at SEDA Vertis North, Quezon City, Philippines. They shared an ongoing study and the importance of assessing and developing our country’s students’ workplace skills. The paper presentation was entitled, Students’ Workplace Skills in NCR: Inputs to Career Development and Education.
The paper presentation was delivered by SFI Career Center’s Senior Program Officer, Richard Monteverde MA, CCC, LPT, RGC, wherein he discussed how they used the Philippine TalentMap Initiative (PTMI) assessment to measure the current state of knowledge, skill, and attitude of workers, jobseekers, and students using the global 21st Century Skills framework. Through talent mapping, stakeholders can develop responsive programs and make informed decisions and policies to uplift the quality of the country’s labor force.
During his presentation, he shared insights about the weaknesses and strengths of those who took the PTMI assessment in the National Capital Region (NCR). It was also observed that while the participants were good in academic subjects like English Comprehension, Math, Workplace Ethics, and Multi-tasking; a significant number of these students did not fare equally well in collaborative and higher thinking skills like Teamwork, Decision making, Creative problem solving, and Innovation. These skills are considered essential in the modern century workplace. Most learners who are still in the school setting do not have the necessary entry level skills required by employers (Santamaria, 2017).
Role of Educational Institutions in Bridging the Skills Gap
The study showed the existing skills gap in our Labor Force and how academic institutions can help in reducing this gap. Schools do not equip students with Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes and Values required by the current and emerging Jobs (Santamaria 2017, JobsFit 2020, 2009). Educational institutions can lead the movement to bridge this gap together with the help of the Government.
By working together, we can influence decision makers to create programs that will guide and assist jobseekers, companies and organizations so that our future labor force can successfully cope with the demands of the future workplace that requires creativity, intelligence, social skills and the ability to exploit Artificial Intelligence (UNDP, 2015; World Economic Forum, 2017).
SFI Career Center’s Recommendations
Based on the results gathered and analysis made on how these skills can be improved, the following recommendations were given:
- Facilitate reforms in the school curriculum across grade levels particularly geared on strengthening higher-order thinking skills, socio-emotional skills and applied skills.
- Use socio-emotional skills in the teaching of higher-order thinking skills.
- Contextualize the career theories and workplace skills development in the educational curriculum and practices (e.g., foundational, reinforcement, optimal).
- Capacitate educational managers, teaches and educators on teaching 21st Century Skills based on their core subject area, engaging the learners through pragmatic application of concepts/theories, and evaluating learning outcomes.
- Adopt the proposed career development model and test for its efficacy and effectiveness.
- Use the assessment tool as a means to measure gaps in the workplace skills and to diagnose career needs of not only the students but also the employed, unemployed, school leavers.
- Integrate ICT in the facilitation of career services to individuals.
- Develop skills map of different occupations and career pathways on various industries.
- The Stakeholders of the Philippine workforce should find strategies on how to integrate employment programs to schools’ career development programs in providing up-to-date labor market information and employment opportunities and/or career pathways to candidates (e.g., students, trainees, unemployed).
In line with the recommendations made, our educators also need to be well trained and equipped to guide our next generation of labor force. Private employers and organizations can also use the PTMI assessment to help them improve work efficiency, productivity and promote talent growth in their organization.
If you’re an academic institution or private organization, you may GET IN TOUCH with us so we can setup a pilot PTMI assessment for your students or employees.
TalentSource Inc. and SFI Career Center are subsidiaries of SFI Group of Companies.