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IBM launches program to prepare students for ‘new collar jobs’

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IBM has launched its technology education program that would prepare Filipino students for “new collar jobs” and making the Philippines the second country in ASEAN, after Singapore and 10th globally, to replicate the P-TECH model (Pathways in Technology Early College High).

P-TECH will be piloted at the Taguig City University starting this school year. A memorandum of agreement was signed by Taguig City Mayor Mayor Laarni L. Cayetano and IBM Asia Pacific CEO and Chairman Harriet Green, and IBM Philippines President and country general manager Manager Aileen Judan-Jiao Aileen Judan-Jiao to implement the project in the city university.

P-TECH focuses on “very hands-on” information technology, math, science and engineering mentoring programs and early exposure to industries to help students prepare for a career in technology.

In a speech at the launch, IBM Asia Pacific CEO and chairman Harriet Green emphasized that jobs that do not always require a traditional four-year college degree, but the right mix of in-demand technical skills to work with and benefit from the very latest technology – from cloud and AI to cybersecurity, blockchain, and quantum computing.

“The future is not about blue collar jobs or white collar jobs. “Its about new collar jobs or jobs that are not only about credentials but about real practical capabilities,” Green said.

Green estimated that half a million new technology related jobs are to be created right here in the Philippines by 2022 – and most of them will be new collar jobs.

“We need to start work today ensuring our workforce has the right skills for these jobs. We need more than the right technologies. We need the right people with the right skills in the right jobs and we need them so much here in the Philippines,” she added.

In the Philippines, P-TECH will span grades 11 to 12, with students graduating with their Associate’s Degree in Computer Technology. Beginning in senior high school, students will benefit from mentorships, worksite visits and project days – all of which will provide early exposure to careers in industries and disciplines that involve a background in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

As students progress in high school and college coursework, they will participate in paid internships that provide real workplace experiences. These opportunities will equip students with the necessary technology and workplace skills, as well as the degrees for competitive and fulfilling “new collar” careers.

At the same time, this model and its growing ecosystem will help tackle new workforce challenges in the Philippines, including the “potential upside for ~654k net new jobs to be created by 2022, from a baseline of 1.15 million jobs in 2016”, according to the Philippine IT BPM Accelerate PH Future Ready Roadmap 2022. P-TECH will help increase the pool of skilled Filipino talents needed as companies across sectors ramp up their digital transformation efforts.

Judan-Jiao said that graduates will have benefit from the “interview first” commitment of partner companies in the program, improving their chance of getting hired.

First established in Brooklyn, New York in 2011 by IBM for the city’s public schools and city universities, P-TECH is now replicated in more than 110 schools worldwide, and is expected to be in more than 200 schools by the end of 2019. More than 550 businesses in technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing currently participate in the initiative as industry partners. (BCM)

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