Employment promotion

Promoting productive employment and skills development in BARMM: Assessing the economic and labour market situation and skills needs in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

With the support of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, the ILO will undertake studies and consultations to better understand the skills development and labour market needs in BARMM and identify opportunities for policy making and programming.

In the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), a focus on full, productive, freely-chosen and sustainable employment opportunities for all is essential to promote decent work and achieve inclusive and sustainable economic development given the high proportion of vulnerable employment, poverty, and low real income. This requires a multi-pronged approach (i) supporting women and men, especially the youth and other groups at risk of vulnerability or marginalization, to acquire appropriate competencies and have access to and engage in remunerative and productive work; (ii) enhancing the enabling environment, including policies, programmes and institutions, to promote the development and creation of sustainable and resilient enterprises; and (iii) supporting better informed, more responsive and mainstreamed policies and programmes targeting groups in situations of vulnerability and marginalization, taking into account ILO Recommendation 205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience (2017).

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a massive disruption to the economy and labour market in the Philippines, with disproportional impacts on vulnerable groups.

In this context, the ILO has initiated studies and consultations to better understand the labour market and skills development situation in BARMM. The studies and consultations are led by the ILO Country Office for the Philippines in collaboration with the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Moreover, the studies will inform government, employers’ and workers’ organizations in BARMM and in the Philippines as well as the Australian Embassy in the Philippines in the development of skills and labour market interventions for sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full employment and decent work for women and men. Australia has committed to supporting the construction of skills development centres in BARMM through the Classroom Construction Project in collaboration with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). The research will contribute to the regional development, including its focus on a responsive and transformative Bangsamoro education system and sustaining economic growth in the Bangsamoro.

The objective of the overall research through multiple studies is to assess the economic and labour market situation and skills needs in BARMM with the aim to assist in the design and delivery of skills training and labour market interventions closely linked with employment and livelihood opportunities, particularly for young people. The research combines several sub-studies and assessments to identify skills needs and employment opportunities not only on a short-term basis but also with a medium-to-long term perspective in the region:
  • sector and value chain analysis for skills development and employment;
  • rapid assessment of identified areas for the skills development centres; and
  • a “Foresights” stakeholders workshop to identify employment, livelihoods opportunities and skills needs
Given the evolving nature of the labour market, it is important that the study will look beyond immediate and short-term challenges to develop resilience and support for medium-long term employability and the job mobility of trainees, and identify ways to enhance employment opportunities.