Individual Consultant: Lead Implementation Expert

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 18 September 2020

Job Description

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment

1. The Philippines has a youth employment problem. This is reflected in a slow school-to-work transition for many young Filipinos (between the ages of 18 and 24). Frequent spells outside the labor market without training and for extensive periods of time damage young people’s future career prospects and earnings. This situation can also perpetuate lifetime poverty for the young residing in poor households. Of particular concern is the fact that young people from low-income families are more than twice as likely to not be in employment, postsecondary education of training compared to their peers in higher- income families. A large pool of young people from lower-income families is not being integrated into the labor market. The government has put in place reforms to lift growth and employment creation through infrastructure investments with a target to reach over 5.0% of gross domestic product by 2016, as well as continued financial sector and business climate reforms. On the supply side, the main constraints to achieving a faster school-to-work transition as well as a faster job-to-job transition for the unemployed include (i) weak linkages between the education and training sectors and the skills requirements of industry, meaning that many young people are ill prepared for the workplace, (ii) inadequate active labor market programs that can provide out-of-school youth with an integrated set of employment support services that help them find decent employment, (iii) inadequate labor market information to assist young people with job searches, and (iv) under-resourced PESOs at the LGUs to provide efficient and effective employment facilitation services for out-of-school youth.

2. To address these constraints, DOLE’s employment agenda includes several interventions. A key one is the rollout of the implementation of the JobStart Philippines Program (JSP) which was legislated in 2016 through the JSP Act. The objective of this Technical Assistance (TA) supports the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) located within the LGUs, in the implementation of JSP from 2015–2020 in 64 LGUs targeting more than 64,000 out- of-school youths into the program, of which 24 LGUs and 15,000 JSP beneficiaries will be supported by the proposed TA. Every year, 10-15 additional LGUs will be covered by the TA and through government budget allocations (GAA). The Government of Canada is a strong supporter of employment facilitation programs for young women and men, and is providing financing to support JobStart Philippines.

3. The JSP is a remedial program implemented through the PESOs to provide “at-risk” out-of-school youth with assistance to become jobready. As a remedial program, JSP provides a young person (the JobStarter) with services covering career guidance and coaching, life skills training for 10 days, access to short- term technical training for up to 3 months and placements with employers for up to 3 months. Employers develop a training plan and sign a memorandum of agreement with DOLE to take on JobStarters under the program. The training plan includes both the short-term technical skills and the on-the-job training component. JSP provides grants to the employer to cover training costs and administration and provides the JobStarter with a trainee allowance during training, while employers pay the youth a stipend during the internship period of least 75% of the minimum wage. DOLE’s rollout strategy includes measures to promote the long-term sustainability of JSP.

4. The JSP is also evolving to meet the challenges of the global Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition to it’s devastating health impact, COVID-19 has also profoundly impacted livelihoods in the Philippines. Significant economic contraction has created more than 4 million additional unemployed Filipinos, with relatively low skilled and informal work in the services sector particularly affected. A large volume of overseas foreign workers have been displaced by the pandemic and have returned to the Philippines to seek work. Young women and men face increasingly challenging and competitive employment conditions. Equipping them with the skills demanded by the private sector will be critical to support the Philippine’s economic recovery. Additionally, public health and safety risks raise new challenges for the delivery of JobStart activities. Innovative approaches are required to continue to provide these critical services to Filipino youth.

Scope of Work

The International Team Lead will have two-fold responsibilities; first, continue to ensure business continuity and engagement with JobStart stakeholders including beneficiaries, national government, local government, the private sector and other development partners; and second, to develop innovative approaches for the ongoing and future delivery of JobStart that evolve in line with public health and safety challenges related to COVID-19. The expert will work closely with the BLE JobStart Unit, DOLE RD/FO, ADB, the Government of Canada, LGUs and PESOs to oversee all aspects of implementation of the JobStart Philippines Program. The expert will work closely and report to Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) Director/JobStart Unit and the ADB Project Officer/team.

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output Tasks will include the following:

(i) Lead implementation of JobStart Philippines and serve as focal point for coordination between ADB, DOLE, the Government of Canada, local government unit/PESOs, private sector partner employers and other development partners working in the area of youth employment;

(ii) Oversee and manage the team of JobStart consultants working on financial management, accounting, information technology, data collection and analysis and logistics/administration. Ensure the full team is working together to meet performance targets agreed upon between the government, ADB and the Government of Canada.

(iii) Oversee and be responsible for the delivery of all monitoring, evaluation, reporting and accountability mechanisms which accompany JobStart Philippines, including disbursement of funds, accounting and audit, tracking of performance and progress against agreed targets and outcomes, preparation of quarterly and annual performance reports, and other performance reporting as requested by ADB, DOLE or the Government of Canada;

(iv) Lead development of new delivery approaches for JobStart which address the challenges of the COVID- 19 pandemic, especially related to online delivery of LifeSkills Training, blended learning approaches with self- and guided- study, digitization/automation of key administrative processes like outreach, registration, etc.

(v) Work with DOLE and other stakeholders to pilot, assess, adjust and then roll-out the innovative digital approaches described above;

(vi) Update and implement a structured Capacity Development Program for capacitation of BLE staff, DOLE regional Offices and PESO managers and staff. Focus on both core JobStart activities as well as required capacity development for new digital delivery modalities under development. Report on achievement of capacity development outcomes as part of quarterly/annual performance reporting;

(vii) Work with private sector employer partners to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their business activities, and to support BLE in identifying and forecasting in-demand skills. Develop an active prequalified pool of not less than 12 employers for each participating PESO;

(viii) Manage all communication and outreach for JobStart Philippines with a view towards the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders (elected officials at national and local levels, partner employers, beneficiaries, public at large). Update and maintain communications and outreach collaterals, particularly with a view towards changing labor market dynamics under COVID-19;

(ix) Other tasks as required by ADB/BLE.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

The international expert should have an advance degree in social sciences, economics or related field. She or he should have at least 10 years of experience in program implementation, employment and/or skills development programs and demonstrated strong leadership skills. Experience working with the Philippine government, particularly the Department of Labor and Employment, is an advantage.

Minimum General Experience 10 Years

Minimum Specific Experience (relevant to assignment) 10 Years

Deadline of Submitting EOI: 23-Sep-2020 11:59 PM Manila local time

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