Future-ready workforce through STEM in TVET

The ILO convened teachers, trainers and partners in a summit to integrate STEM in TVET and to reinforce a future-ready workforce as jobs evolve due to rapid technological changes.

News | Manila, Philippines | 31 January 2024
Education and training should adapt to new skills with the rapid changes in technology.
More than 200 teachers, trainers and government-industry representatives along with 500 online participants get tooled up with knowledge and skills for a future-ready workforce. Together, they discovered the transformative impact of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education in Technical Vocational Education and Training (STEM) through a summit held on 25-26 January 2024.

The STEM in TVET Summit, a game-changing event immersed participants in the transformative impact of STEM and tackled policies to integrate in TVET. The summit also provided first-hand experience of applying digital technologies and inspiring stories of women in STEM for government and industry leaders’ support on STEM Education for Employment.

The STEM in TVET Summit promoted inclusive access to high quality skills development and lifelong learning.
Over the next two decades, technological advances, including artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics, are rapidly transforming jobs and the skills workers need in the Philippines. As the pace of change intensifies, enterprises and their workers need to act to develop STEM skills needed in the workplace of the future.

The impact is greatest in STEM sectors, where most jobs require not only technical knowledge but also higher cognitive and communication skills. Women make up most of this workforce and it’s these jobs that will require a new set of skills.

“It brings me great joy to see and meet all the teachers and find how such initiative has expanded since the pandemic. Through this, we open STEM opportunities in schools and universities on technologies like 3D printing, Generative Artificial Intelligence and App development,” said Director Khalid Hassan of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines.

According to the Director Hassan, the summit comes at an opportune time while globalization, technological, demographic and climate change, including crises like COVID-19 cause disruptions in education, training and employment.

The ILO estimates that over 18 million jobs or almost half of the jobs at 49 per cent face a risk of automation in the Philippines. Women are employed predominantly in jobs requiring low STEM skills and are more likely than men to lose their jobs due to automation.

Director Hassan highlighted the need to invest in skills development and lifelong learning as societies, economies and jobs evolve. Core skills must be promoted for successful transitions to and within the labour market as he emphasized.

The ILO Women in STEM Programme supported by J.P. Morgan spearheaded the summit in partnership with the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED), and Center for Integrated STEM Education, Inc. (CISTEM).
ILO Director Hassan spots Jupiter using the Philippines' most powerful telescope as he cites the importance of innovating and integrating STEM in training and education.