by Diane V Lim
Zamboanga City, Philippines – On August 3 and 4, 2023, SAP, UNICEF, and the Ateneo Learning and Teaching Excellence Center (ALTEC) of Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) met with different local government offices and universities to explore collaboration in providing employability opportunities for the youth through Learning to Earning Pathways (LEaP!) initiative in Zamboanga City.
The meeting agenda encompassed several points. First, we introduced LEaP and then delved into a comprehensive understanding of the employment landscape in Zamboanga City and the broader Peninsula. UNICEF introduced the Youth Agency Marketplace (YOMA) offering a platform for young people to seek learning opportunities to improve employability skills. Next, SAP explained the Educate to Employ (E2E) program, highlighting its potential to bridge young people into the SAP Ecosystem.
Representing SAP, UNICEF, and ALTEC were Eugene Ho, Global CSR Director at SAP; Warwick Vlantis, Global Programme Manager at UNICEF Global; Avelino Mejia Jr., Adolescent Skills Development Programme Coordinator at UNICEF Philippines; and Rogin Eribal, ALTEC Director, respectively.
Warwick Vlantis (right) discusses the YOMA platform to DICT IX ASEC Camba before Eugene Ho, SAP Global CSR Director, explains SAP Educate to Employ.
The field mission started with a meeting together with the Department of Information Communications Technology Region IX BASULTA. Key attendees included Maria Teresa M. Camba, Assistant Secretary for Regional Development and Officer-in-Charge of Region IX and BASULTA; Juanito Calingacion, Jr., Field Officer of DICT Zamboanga City — he was the DICT representative during the SUGPAT Youth Talks in the LEaP YOUTH EXPO 2023 last May 14, 2023 — and Jacob F. Mohammad, Chief of Technical Operations Division. The DICT IX BASULTA gave insight into the employment landscape on the regional level and how the department and ALTEC can collaborate to expand their efforts in basic digital literacy among other efforts for the LEaP initiative.
Left to right. Juanito Calingacion, Asec Maria Teresa M Camba, Rogin Eribal, Warwick Vlantis, Jacob F Mohammad, and Avelino Mejia Jr.
Following that was the meeting with the City Social Welfare and Development Office and Public Employment Service Office (CSWDO & PESO). Key attendees included Ma. Socorro A. Rojas, City Social Welfare and Development Officer, and Stephanie Sta. Elena, Public Employment Service Office. The CSWO-PESO provided insight into the employment landscape at the city level where most young people have difficulty staying employed and need to build their skills passport or CV to be used when applying for work. One of the key features of the YOMA platform is the digital CV, where young people can collate their learning and volunteering opportunities and use it for easier employability in their job search.
Rogin Eribal explains the purpose of meeting with the CSWDO.
Assistant to the President for Social Development, Mario Rodriguez, shares the state of the AdZU Social Development Unit.
Next was the conversation at the AdZU Social Development Office. Key attendees included Mr. Mario Rodriguez, Assistant. to the President for Social Development, and Ms. Jessica D. Partosa, Computer Science Department Chair in the College of Science in Information Technology and Engineering (CSITE). AdZU would also like to bring in the School of Education to help expand the reach to underserved young people in the city and beyond.
Capping the first day of the mission was the honor of visiting the Mayor of the City of Zamboanga, Honorable John Dalipe. We are grateful for his support of the program.
SAP, UNIVEF, and ALTEC pose for a group photo after meeting with the Mayor of Zamboanga City, Hon John Dalipe.
SAP Global CSR Eugene Ho introduces SAP Educate to Employ to the IT students of Universidad de Zamboanga.
On August 4th, an inspiring session kicked off at Universidad de Zamboanga – Main Campus, where SAP’s Global CSR Director, Eugene Ho, introduced the SAP Educate to Employ program to 50 students majoring in Information Technology, inviting them to take charge of their futures and a chance to be part of the SAP ecosystem. A heartfelt thanks to Mr. Arvin Cris Angeles, IT instructor, for helping ALTEC prepare for this session.
DOLE LCE Engr Wesley Tan provides insight into the labor market study of Zamboanga City.
In the afternoon, we had the honor of meeting with the Department of Labor and Employment Region IX, represented by Chief Local Executive Officer, Engr. Wesley D. Tan; Ms. Ma. Eloina Idris, Senior Labor Employment Officer; and Ms. April Jane C. Barreto, Administrative Assistant. They provided a deep understanding of the labor market on a regional level but also highlighted the top vacancies and in-demand skills in the city.
The team and Center Administrator and Chief TESDA Specialist, Ms Jocelyn C Wee, review the different programs of TESDA.
The last stop was the Regional Training Center of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) where we met with the Center Administrator and Chief TESD Specialist, Ms. Jocelyn C. Wee. TESDA is definitely open to partnering with ALTEC in maximizing the YOMA platform to make its services more accessible to young people.
These potential partnerships hold the promise of unleashing a wave of opportunities for the youth of Zamboanga City. LEaP taps the existing ecosystem of youth development in the city to strengthen collaborations and provide opportunities that are tailored to the needs of young people.