US, partners create $10.6-M training program for Filipino factory workers

A survey of around 400 manufacturers in the country found that the Philippines’ Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a gauge of manufacturing output, grew at a softer pace of 52.7 in February from the 53.5 outturn in January, S&P Global said in a report on Wednesday.

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has partnered with manufacturing companies in the Philippines to help develop the skills of the sector’s workers for a five-year training program. 

With the US investing $5.3 million (P311 million) in the program, Washington has now given Manila $105.6 million (P5.8 billion) in support of its education and workforce development programs. 

According to a statement from the US Embassy on Tuesday, the US Agency for International Development and the Unilab Foundation are collaborating on a $10.6-million (P622 million) program called the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev).

Half of the funding for the program will come from private-sector partners, namely the Unilab Foundation, Amherst Laboratories, Belmont Softgel Pharma, Fastech Advanced Assembly, Western Digital Philippines, Makati Business Club, and the Investment and Capital Corporation of the Philippines Group Foundation.

“We hope that this private sector collaboration will allow the Philippines to advance to ‘high middle-income’ economic status and strengthen its ability to increase suitable, inclusive, and transparent economic growth in the broader Indo-Pacific economic community,” US Ambassador Marykay Carlson said during the program’s launch in Laguna on Monday. 

The government is aiming to turn the Philippines into an “upper middle-income country” in a few years as it works on post-pandemic recovery. 

READ: World Bank sees moderate growth for Philippines

The AMDev will open opportunities for manufacturing sector workers through apprenticeships, and immersion programs. It also opens up connections to a network of other students and professors from educational institutions near manufacturing sites. 

The embassy said it aims to get its program recognized academically to allow participants to pursue higher education if they wish. 

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