According to the 2016 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) conducted by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), almost 10% of the 39 million Filipinos aged 6 to 24 years were out of school children and youth (OSCY). Of these 3.9 million OSCYs, 87.3% were between 16 and 24 years old. The proportion of OSCYs was higher among females. The same report finds that the most common reasons for OSCYs not attending school were marriage or other family matters (42%), followed by high costs for education and financial concerns (20%) and the lack of personal interest (20%). Not attending and/or finishing school decreases the chances of securing a decent job, thus perpetuating a cycle of poverty. In addition to these alarming numbers, the 2016 Asian Development Outlook found that Filipino college graduates took about a year to eventually secure a job. One of the major reasons for this situation is that many graduates are not equipped with industry-relevant skills, especially in industries related to science and technology. At the same time, the internationally competitive IT/BPO industry is one of the strongest drivers of the Philippines economy today. It accounts for about 10% of the global IT/BPO business with very strong revenue forecasts for the next years (more than double to USD 55 billion by 2020 from USD 25 billion in 2016). Passerelles numériques Philippines (PNP) uses and leverages the potential of the IT industry and makes it accessible for at-risk young people.
Passerelles numériques (PN) is a non-profit organization under French law, operating in three Asian countries: Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and locally registered in the Philippines. PN’s mission is to enable at-risk young people in low-resource settings to build their employability through education in the digital industry, and to leverage their potential. PN’s endeavor is to allow them and their families to escape poverty in a sustainable way and to contribute to the social and economic empowerment of their communities. PN was founded in 2005 by Virginie Legrand and Alain Goyé in Cambodia. Supported by Accenture and Enfants du Mékong, it started with the opening of a training center in Phnom Penh and the first intake of 25 students. After operations in Cambodia proved successful (2-year training in System & Network Administration and Web Programming), PN decided to replicate its model. In 2009, PN opened its second center in Cebu City, the Philippines (partnering with the University of San Carlos (USC), offering a 2.5-year USC and PN certified training in Software application development and web development). In 2010, the third center in Da Nang, Vietnam was opened (3-year training in Software Development and Testing). PN strives to enable at least 90% of its students to become professionally successful, as well as to reduce gender inequality by selecting a minimum of 50% of young women as trainees. Central to all efforts is a thorough selection process of students over several months, and dialogue with the trainees and their families, resulting in very high retention rates (95-100%). Employment guidance for all students is another factor of success: well above 90% of them find employment within two months after graduation. Since the opening of the PNP training center, 402 students have graduated. According to a 2017 alumni survey, the average salary of PNP alumni is 2.5 times higher than the minimum wage, and almost 6 times higher than the average salary of their families (minimum wage/month: $166; average salary of families/month: $69; average monthly salary of PNP alumni: $406). Students pay back to the communities around them during the training with volunteering activities; after the training, many of them contribute with a certain amount of their salaries to the training costs of PNP.
EMpower’s 2nd grant to Passerelles NumériquesPhilippines (PNP) is a continuation of the 1st grant which started in July 2018, which supports 20 talented and motivated youth (50% female, ages 18-24) from the poorest regions of the Visayas Islands, to participate in a 2.5 year holistic educative IT training program. PNP offers technical IT training, soft skills development, and personal development. In addition to learning Software application development, web development and coding, the youth participate in job readiness training and Professional Life training, which equips them with high-level soft skills needed in a highly competitive company/work environment. PNP also facilitates 2 semesters of ‘on the job training’ for the youth. They will graduate from the training with a certificate in Computer Technology delivered by the University of San Carlos (USC) and a certificate from Passerelles Numeriques.
Primary Location: Cebu, Philippines
Funded Since: 2018
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