TESDA, USAID activate ‘Futures Thinking’ program

USAID Philippines Acting Deputy Mission Director Jeff Goebel (clockwise, from left), USAID Opportunity 2.0 Chief of Party Dr. Dave Hall and TESDA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña

A NEW program will further equip key officials of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) with acumen and tools to help the agency better adapt to future uncertainties.

TESDA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on March 22 marked the start of the development of the agency’s first “Futures Thinking” framework, which will be crafted with the expertise of the Center for Engaged Foresight and the Education Development Center through USAID’s Opportunity 2.0 Program. 

In the next five to six months, around 30 select TESDA leaders will participate in workshops and sessions to develop the framework that will arm them with strategic foresight skills and tools.

Futures Thinking is an approach to planning that helps organizations analyze their past and present more closely. It will help them identify patterns, see emerging threats and opportunities, build potential scenarios, as well as apply labor market information in crafting policies. Through the discipline and lens of Futures Thinking, TESDA will be able to make changes now to prepare itself and its technical-vocational education and training (TVET) programs to adapt to future uncertainties.

“One way of ensuring TVET remains responsive to [potential] risks, opportunities and changes…is for actors to come together,” said USAID Philippines Acting Deputy Mission Director Jeff Goebel. “This is why [we are] also honored to be an instrumental player that kickstarts the development of TESDA’s Futures Thinking framework.”

“With the capacity of TESDA strengthened, the Philippine TVET sector becomes agile and future-ready to…dynamic changes in the education, industry, and employment sector,” added Goebel. “TVET policies and programs will be demand-driven, relevant, forward-looking, and will be able to create a positive impact on even more young people in the Philippines.”

USAID has been working with TESDA through its Opportunity 2.0 Program in transitioning more out-of-school youth to pursue further education, get jobs, or start their own businesses. At least 500 trainers from the agency have been trained to roll out this new content to more youth across the country. Through their collaborative initiative against the pandemic in 2020, TESDA and USAID have also enrolled hundreds of out-of-school youth into the former’s online program, many of whom have landed new jobs and started their own businesses.

Image credits: US Embassy


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