- Secretary Gene Mamondiong and officials of TESDA
- Distinguished government officials and representatives from workers’ and employers’ organizations, academe and training institutions, civil society, private sector
- Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good morning to all of you!
The International Labour Organization is grateful for this opportunity to partner with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. This event is also made possible with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
The Philippines is embarking on a green transformation across economic sectors, evident with the country’s adoption of the Paris Agreement and the passage of the Philippine Green Jobs Act. This is also in line with the Philippine Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are aware that pursuing environmental sustainability and climate action has multiple co-benefits. Transitioning to a greener economy offers potential for decent job creation, improvement in quality of jobs and income, and social inclusion. However, it is important to know that the transition also entails economic restructuring that could result to jobs being created, shifted, eliminated and transformed.
Globally, we are seeing that skills shortages are already hindering the transition to a green economy. Skills development, therefore, plays a crucial role to enable the shift to a greener economy and ensure that this results to a just transition that creates decent jobs and leaves no one behind.
The Philippine Green Jobs Act plays an important role in accelerating this process, particularly in creating decent jobs that contribute to environmental sustainability across all economic sectors, while building resilience against impacts of climate change. It provides for the development of the human capital, with particular emphasis on skills development.
For green jobs creation and just transition be realized, policies and measures addressing the skills challenges need to be urgently put in place.
This will have to start with improved policy coordination and social dialogue that ensures green skills development is integrated into wider training and skills development policy. At the same time, skills issues should also be well integrated into environmental policy development.
Closer dialogue and cooperation on the implications of green growth among employers, workers, policy-makers and educational institutions will be beneficial for all concerned.
As green technologies and working practices change skill requirements, it is important to avoid skills bottlenecks that slow the transition towards a green economy and marginalize workers. Social partners and governments at all levels should collaborate in a broad effort to adapt TVET to changing skill needs, with particular attention to the local level, where different stakeholders representing both supply and demand come into direct contact.
To ensure that this leads to job creation, education and training measures should be coordinated with other policy mechanisms, including measures to promote a conducive business environment, encourage entrepreneurship and ensure social protection.
It is important to focus on developing portable skills to improve occupational mobility. Core skills such as decision-making, leadership and readiness to learn remain essential and will continue to underpin occupational mobility. Environmental awareness is itself becoming an important core skill.
As the transition towards green growth will require a significant number of workers to move from declining firms and sectors to growing ones, measures to assist workers are needed to make these transitions smooth. Active labour market programmes can play an important role in speeding the re-employment of displaced workers.
Individuals and companies must also be encouraged to invest in skills development for green growth.
The Green Jobs Act provides incentives to enterprises to invest on skills development for their workers.
Education and training curricula should be reviewed regularly to ensure they remain up to date and able to maximize employability and adaptability to the labour market implications of green growth.
Education and continuing professional development of teachers and trainers should also be a top priority.
There is also an urgent need for a more rigorous approach to the analysis and anticipation of demand for green jobs and related skills.
A greener economy does not automatically deliver decent jobs. Skills development in areas such as occupational safety and health, minimizing waste, workers’ rights provides an opportunity to contribute to the improvement of working conditions and the avoidance of occupational hazards.
Addressing skills needs in the transition to a greener economy requires a whole-of-government approach with the active involvement of stakeholders, including employers’ and workers’ organizations, academe and training institutions, civil society, among others – at the national and local level.
Our three-day event on green TVET is a critical starting point to understand the skills challenges, the role of each stakeholder, and appropriate response measures towards a more sustainable pathway.
Each of you plays a crucial role in this process. I encourage you to have an open discussion and to provide inputs to TESDA’s strategic plan towards greening the TVET system, to ensure an efficient and just transition to a green economy
The ILO, through the Just Transition initiative in the Philippines is ready to provide technical assistance in the implementation of the Philippine Green Jobs Act and in the process of structural change towards a greener, low carbon, climate-resilient economy that create decent jobs.
Let us keep in mind that a greener economy is not inclusive and socially sustainable by default. By working together, we can design a green future that is decent and just.
Thank you and I wish you all an enriching and successful event.