Chamber backs changes to apprenticeship rules

Chamber backs changes to apprenticeship rules

THE German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) said it supports amendments to the rules governing apprenticeship, citing the need to prolong worker training depending on the skills required.

The chamber expressed its position in the context of greater interest by German companies in establishing or expanding Philippine operations.

GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz said in a statement that results of an internal survey show that German businesses are interested in creating more jobs in the Philippines.

“Aside from continuing to liberalize the Philippine economy for foreign players, we urge the Philippine government to take advantage of this momentum by instituting laws that seek to improve skills development of Filipinos such as amending the outdated apprenticeship system and strengthening enterprise-based education,” Mr. Schmitz said.

According to GPCCI, needed changes to the apprenticeship rules include the elimination of the cap on the duration of apprenticeships.

“The necessary length of training should be determined based on the specific skill or curriculum requirements,” it said.

On Dec. 12, 2022, the House of Representatives passed on third reading House Bill (HB) 6523 which proposes to amend the apprenticeship provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Section 9 of HB 6523 provides for apprenticeship periods that are “based on the duration of training required in the training plan and on the complexity of the skills to be learned by the apprentices.”

The bill has been consolidated in the committee report by the Senate on Nov. 22 and is among President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s priority bills.

The GPCCI said that the Philippines has attracted significant attention among German businesses, which reported raised expectations for improving business (63% of survey respondents).

The Philippines also scored the highest among German multinationals in terms of economic expectations over the next 12 months at 22%.

“Furthermore, the country also led in employment intentions, with 48% of participants planning to hire more within the country in the next 12 months,” GPCCI said.

“Moreover, the Philippines has established dominance in the services sector (as rated by 47% of respondents), which was a pivotal factor for investment,” it added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile