New funding for youth training programmes in the Philippines

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a policy-based loan of US$400 million that will support skill programs and boost youth employment in the Philippines.

ADB said the program will help the Department of Labor and Employment to strengthen labour market programs, improve workplace skills development, and create healthy work environments.

ADB Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade for Southeast Asia Jose Antonio Tan III said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused many to lose jobs across a variety of sectors, so there was an urgent need to help young Filipinos find work through innovative labor market programs and skills development initiatives.

“This new loan reflects our long-term commitment to ensuring that young people find jobs to improve their lives and create a wider employment base for post-pandemic economic growth,” he said.

Among the reforms supported by the new loan will be the creation of a US$200 million Tulong Trabaho (Job Assistance) Scholarship Fund, unemployment insurance scheme, and the First Time Jobseekers Act.

“The program assisted in the development of an online Life Skills Training program for JobStart covering digital literacy, mental health, reproductive health and rights, women’s empowerment, and work values,” Tan said.

ADB Principal Financial Sector Specialist for Southeast Asia Stephen Schuster noted the loan would also help to improve gender-balance outcomes in the Filipino job market.

“This loan will help young job seekers, especially women, access training opportunities and enhance their skills development. It will strengthen labor market policies and provide assistance to returning Filipino workers who lost jobs overseas because of the pandemic through group livelihood and entrepreneurship programs,” Schuster said.

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