The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of millions of workers worldwide—its impact far-reaching and devastating to a multitude of industries. Once lucrative enterprises in tourism, hospitality, or events are now reeling from the losses and lost income opportunities, and it may take them several years to fully recover.
The health crisis has shown that any business – whether it is a large-scale manufacturer, a back office with 50 workers, or a micro-enterprise with home-based operations – must be ready to face any crisis, without the need to sacrifice workers’ welfare.
Bayan Academy, a social enterprise empowering Filipino workers with skills and knowledge, saw the pandemic as an opportunity to expand its reach via online communication.
With programs validated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and supported by global financial services giant J.P. Morgan, Bayan Academy offered its various courses online, starting with “Contact Center Services,” “Virtual Assistant,” and “Basic Programming.”
Skills that will be developed from these courses were identified as “essential” or with high demand, especially as economies under the so-called “new normal” will rely heavily on AI-enabled digital technology and automation.
“Online training will now become the norm rather than the exception,” said Dr. Eduardo Morato Jr., chairman and president of Bayan Academy.
“The crisis is not a time to retreat, but to equip ourselves further, retool our way of thinking, and update our skills. This is what we are doing at Bayan Academy as we continuously reach out to retrenched workers; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and all those who want to improve their lot in life and survive not only this crisis but whatever the future may bring,” he added.
The initiatives of Bayan Academy are fully supported by J.P. Morgan.
“We remain committed to the efforts of institutions such as Bayan Academy in providing work access and increased opportunities for the Filipino,” said Carlos Ma. Mendoza, Senior Country Officer of J.P. Morgan Philippines.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities all over the world, and the best way to address the crisis is by continuously investing in human capital and equipping individuals with the necessary skills to survive challenges that may come their way.”
Earlier this year, Bayan Academy, together with TESDA and J.P. Morgan, presented the “2018-2022 NTESDP (National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan) Action Programming,” a landmark study dubbed as a guide for the “new dawn for works skills and jobs training in the Philippines.”
The plan presents a strong, unified, and sustainable national system for high-level tech-voc skills training programs that has a long-term vision of making Filipinos in-demand and skilled for the challenges of the future, especially in the face of the new normal.
TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña said while the government is intent on tackling challenges in employment and skills training, strengthened collaboration among public-private partners is needed to translate the NTESDP into specific, “demand-driven” TVET programs.
“TESDA and Bayan Academy will jointly implement the conduct of TESDA organizational diagnosis. This will result in the design of a TESDA structure that is more demand-driven and industry-led organization for the effective delivery of the action programs for the eight priority industries,” Lapeña said.
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