Market study to tackle jobs-skills mismatch in agriculture

Published August 8, 2022, 4:40 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Given the government’s focus on agriculture, the private sector is launching a labor market intelligence study to determine possible human resource development intervention, improvements, and to addressing jobs-skills mismatch.

A Future that Works, a program supported by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in partnership with Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry Human Resources Development Foundation (PCCIHRDF) Inc., will launch the 2022 Philippines Fruits and Vegetable Processing (F&VP) Sector Labor Market Intelligence (LMI) Report on Thursday, August 11.

The research hopes to lay down possible human resource development intervention and improvements within the sector. The initial study will focus on the fruits and vegetable processing sector.

The groups believe that with agriculture being one of the growth and employment sector pushed by the current Philippine administration, a Labor Market Intelligence (LMI) report for the fruit and vegetable processing sector will become a powerful tool in addressing job-skills mismatch.

PCCIHRDF President Dr. Alberto P. Fenix, Jr. believes that since agriculture is such a big sector, studies that focus on specific sub-sector could help policymakers look at possible areas that might need assistance and collaboration.

“All studies for the agriculture sector are essential especially for our country since we are moving out of the pandemic. We are one with the government in looking for solutions and possible interventions that could be implemented, in this case for the Fruits and Vegetable Processing Sector,” said Fenix.

The LMI Study contains inputs from various stakeholders in the government, industry and academe. Among the findings of the study that will be presented are opportunities in the sector against the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, and an overview of skills demands and possible career development pathways in F&VP.

“With the agricultural sector being one of the drivers of the Philippine administration’s push for growth and employment, a labor market intelligence report in the fruits and vegetable processing sector can be a useful tool in articulating industry signals that will help solve our job-skills mismatch problem. LMI reports like this can help the government see what kind of programs they should invest in. Schools and training institutions will also be informed what kind of programs they should offer, the kind of skills they should teach and more importantly, parents and children will be guided in choosing the right program to take.” said PBEd Acting Executive Director Justine B. Raagas.

“As we promote sector development, we in the PCCIHRDF stress the importance of a skilled and qualified workforce in the hopes of building a generation of Filipinos that are gainfully employed or self-employed in vibrant sectors such as in agriculture,” Fenix added.

F&VP President Carlo Castillo believes that this type of study is essential, especially in equipping micro and small entrepreneurs with the relevant knowledge to improve their operations and business.

“I personally come from Isabela where there are a lot of micro and small fruits and vegetable processors. We hope that this type of study could help influence the government in terms of possible interventions. We also acknowledge that improving the sector’s human resources would be one of the solutions to ensure competitiveness both domestically and internationally,” Castillo explained.

The PCCIHRDF will be rolling out the results of the study to different areas in the country within this year to gather more inputs from various stakeholders.