Workers in the Philippines to be upskilled in AI

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched an AI programme to prepare workers for disruption from technological advancement.
By: | February 3, 2021

Called Smarter Philippines through Data Analytics, Research and Development, Training and Adoption (SPARTA), the programme aims to reskill and upskill some 30,000 workers.  

DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said the launch of SPARTA was crucial as the rapid development of AI and automation necessitated workers to upgrade their skills to stay relevant in data science, data analytics, AI, and other related fields by 2022. 

“We hope that through this programme, we could retool those who will be affected by the global growth of AI,” he said in a recent virtual press conference organised by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Sub-Task Group on Economic Recovery. 

He cited a study conducted by Cisco and Oxford Economics showing that about 1.1 million jobs in the country will be displaced due to advancement in technology by 2028. 

About 30,000 training slots are available to interested individuals who wish to be trained in data science, data analytics, AI, and other related fields.  

The programme is implemented by the Development Academy of the Philippines in conjunction with the Analytics Association of the Philippines, and DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). 

Dela Peña said those who have completed the programme are required to take on capstone projects to benefit the government. A capstone project is a multi-faceted project, like a thesis, that can serve as a culminating academic and intellectual experience or exercise for trainees. 

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Five capstone projects were approved for the 2020 implementation under SPARTA, including the Isabela State University/Cauayan City – OCD flood alert system for Cagayan River; Public Employment System for IloIlo, Traffic management for San Fernando City, La Union; Garbage Collection System in Dagupan City; Market Stall Collection System in Urdaneta City. 

SPARTA was launched in 2019 and has generated 23,000 enrollees, 6,000 of whom have finished their respective courses, according to Manila Bulletin.