In Southeast Asia, the emergence of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community will lead to—and require—unprecedented labor mobility and opportunity. For youth to be competitive in this new environment, they will need to demonstrate a strong mix of technical and work readiness skills, such as digital literacy, problem solving, and communication.
Through the Accelerated Work Achievement and Readiness for Employment (AWARE) project, a corporate responsibility partnership with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, EDC is helping young people gain these needed skills and find jobs. Key to AWARE’s notable success has been direct links between employers and vocational institutions in the region to enable young people and industry alike to leverage growth by strengthening the workforce.
AWARE helps young people develop soft skills—leadership, teamwork, and communication—alongside in-demand technical skills, both in schools and through working directly with employers. The project’s activities include the following:
- Implementing Work Ready Now! and work-based learning in 12 project school sites in Indonesia and the Philippines (6 schools in Jakarta, 3 in Manila, and 3 in Cebu).
- Establishing and improving practical relationships between technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools, local businesses, and government to create a more market-driven TVET system.
- 4,357 students have been trained on Work Ready Now! and 98 percent of them have been placed in work-based learning. 2,000 AWARE graduates have already been employed.
- 135 teachers have been trained on the AWARE project model.
- More than 200 ministry officials in both Indonesia and the Philippines have been trained on the AWARE project.
- Students have been placed in over 60 local businesses for on-the-job training.