Participants of the Academe-Industry Dialogue for Automotive

The Special Committee on Strengthening Academe-Industry Linkages conducted a second Academe-Industry Dialogue for the Automotive Industry on October 8 via Zoom videoconference. The activity was part of a series of dialogue for the five priority industries in CALABARZON which are electronics, IT-BPM, automotive, metals, and petrochemicals.

Following the success of the Dialogue for electronics and IT-BPM last year, the Dialogue for Automotives showcased presentations from industry associations on industry trends and human resource needs considering Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, President of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc., reported the current need of the 4-wheel automotive industry for graduates with background on automotive technology and servicing, welding, and mechanical and electrical technology. For the motorcycle industry, Mr. Alfredo Lejano, President of the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. identified their industry need for manufacturing engineers, quality engineers, technicians, and production supervisors, among others. For future industry competencies, both Atty. Guiterrez and Mr. Lejano identified data analytics and digital transformation. They also emphasized the need to develop the communication skills and other soft skills of applicants or graduates to increase employability.

Taking off from the industry presentations, the participants discussed the current and anticipated issues on jobs-skills matching and academe-industry linkages. The major issues raised were on the poor soft skills of graduates and applicants, difficulty in adjusting the curriculum, OJT and immersion policies based on the industry needs and recommendations, and limited number of industries accepting OJTs, immersions, and faculty training due to safety concerns during the pandemic.

The issues were further discussed during the focused group discussions in the afternoon which aimed to generate recommendations that can be endorsed to concerned offices and stakeholders for action. Some of the recommendations identified were to strengthen integration of soft skills and GMRC in basic eduation curriculum, increase industry participation in curriculum development and Dual Training System, and conduct competency gap analysis.

In her closing message, NEDA Region IV-A Assistant Director Gina Gacusan emphasized the most important quality of an employee is the willingness to learn, and that constant coordination between the academe and industry is crucial in addressing employment issues in the Region.

The Dialogue was attended by 84 participants from the academe, industry, and government offices who were able to network with each other during the activity.

Aprille M. Suyat, NEDA Region IV-A | October 13, 2020