PN File

The Philippines, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has concluded the two-day workshop on the development of the ASEAN TVET Council (ATC) Work Plan.

Last June 15 and 16, ASEAN Member States and their respective ministries of education, labor, and trade/industry together with the ASEAN Confederation of Employers, ASEAN Future Workforce Council, ASEAN Trade Union Council, and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Secretariat met virtually to craft the work plan for technical and vocational education and training (TVET)in the region amid the coronavirus disease2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In his opening remarks, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña, who also serves as the inaugural ATC Chair, welcomed the ATC focal points from the region.

“Let us provide one another with insights on how we, the ASEAN TVET Council, can help our labor force recover from the pandemic and ultimately, ensure their resilience in this continuously changing world of work,” he said.

The two-day workshop focused on revisiting and agreeing on the structure and components of the draft work plan through comprehensive discussions among all the ATC Focal points and stakeholders.

At the end of the workshop, the council has come up with a more concrete plan in terms of the priority programs that they will pursue in the ATC. It has also identified the areas of strategic collaborations and cooperation with external partners and sectoral bodies.

Lapeña expressed confidence that the council has achieved the primary objective of the two-day workshop which is coming up with the work plan.

The work plan will be the council’s guide on the implementation of strategies and other innovations to empower the labor force and further improve TVET in the ASEAN region.

“This workshop is a testament of our strong commitment and partnership in achieving our shared goal of advancing the ASEAN TVET systems that will contribute to the competitiveness, productivity, and resilience of the ASEAN workforce,” Lapeña said in his closing remarks.

The delegates from all the ASEAN Member States were joined by dialogue partners from Australia, Germany, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, and United Kingdom, as well as development partners from the International Labour Organization, International Organization for Migration, UNESCO, SEAMEO-VOCTECH and Regional Cooperation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training for ASEAN (RECOTVET).

With support from the ASEAN secretariat and experts, discussions will continue inter-sessionally to finalize the work plan at the ATC level. It will then be endorsed to the relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies for approval, and finally noted at the upcoming ASEAN summit in October.

The ATC, being a multi-sectoral/cross-sectoral body, provides a platform for coordination, research and development on innovations, and monitoring of regional programs that support the advancement of TVET in the ASEAN.

Last March 10, Lapeña convened the members of the ATC for the first time. The inaugural meeting focused on the selection of the council’s vice-chair, discussion of the rules of procedure, and the presentation of the zero draft ATC work plan. This two-day workshop, on the other hand, has realized the development and detailing of initiatives and collaboration areas as part of the work plan development process.

The creation of the ATC was initiated by TESDA’s Policies and Planning cluster in 2017 and was approved during the 36th ASEAN Summit in June 2020. The Philippines is the chair of the ATC until 2022, with Singapore as its vice-chair.