Vocational training in the Philippines

A project of the German Federal Government to promote dual vocational training in the Philippines.

Vocational training in the Philippines is far from practical and does not meet the needs of the economy. This applies to the modern economy and to the largely informal MSME sector. Young Filipinos are insufficiently prepared for the real demands of the workplace as part of their vocational training and thus have only limited employability. With the K to 12 reform announced in 2013, the Philippine government aims to improve the quality of vocational training in the Philippines. With the reform, a technical, vocational (tech-voc) profile will be offered in addition to the purely academic 11th and 12th grades with scientific, linguistic or artistic profiles. The reform intends to make the graduates of the vocational profile "work ready". To this extend, the Philippine government is striving to involve Philippine companies more closely in the training process, without, however, having suitable concepts for their integration or for the systemic integration of the private sector in vocational training design.

The project supports the Philippine government's 'K to 12' education reform by piloting dual training approaches for grades 11 and 12 (K to 12) of the ninth VET profile as well as dual VET programmes after school (PLUS element). The overarching objective of the project is to contribute to increasing employability and income prospects among young people and to meet the companies' need for qualified entry-level and intermediate skilled workers.

The K to 12 PLUS project is a joint project of German development cooperation organisations in which complementary competences in cooperation with the private sector and government institutions generate additional added value for the project.


Dr. Ralf Meier

Head of National Donors




Public funding

The K to 12 PLUS project is in its 2nd phase. sequa is responsible for the overall coordination and knowledge management of the project.


1. Phase (01.10.2013 – 30.09.2016)

Budget: 4.147.400,00 €

2. Phase (01.10.2016 – 31.10.2020)

Budget: 6.004.240,00 €

Project goals

Philippine companies, local chambers, associations and training institutions are supported in the introduction of dual teaching content in schools and companies. In addition, the political dialogue will be strengthened with greater involvement of the private sector institutions so that dual approaches are better anchored in the laws and regulations of vocational education and training in the Philippines.


Results of the 1st phase

  • Practical examples of the introduction of dual approaches in the K to 12 school reform were created (eight vocational training clusters).
  • The experience gained from the eight VET clusters is documented.
  • Chambers and associations, and their members play a more active role in shaping the dual system of vocational education and training.
  • The chambers and associations, and their members play a more active role in the design of dual vocational education and training. This is the first time that vocational training topics have been anchored in chambers and associations.
  • Studies, e.g. on the costs and benefits of vocational training for companies in various regions of the Philippines, were conducted.

Objectives of the 2nd phase

  • 220 graduates complete the 12th grade.
  • 100 in-company trainers receive further training.
  • Graduates of the vocational training courses developed by the project also receive certificates from the Philippine Chambers.
  • Dissemination of the project's experience with the establishment of further vocational training clusters.
  • Comparative studies show that graduates are significantly more employable.
  • Philippine chambers and associations push through at least two reform proposals.
  • Models for sustainable financing of vocational training provision are implemented.


The K to 12 PLUS project is a joint project of the AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation (AFOS), the German - Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI), the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Savings Bank Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC), sequa, and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH). The complementary advantages of the various German partners are used to promote an increase in the practical and need orientation of vocational education and training in the Philippines.

Cooperation partners in the Philippines are the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the Mindanao Microfinance Council and other Philippine private and state organisations and companies.


International Partners

Local Partners

Project activities


sequa is responsible for the overall coordination of this joint project. For this purpose, sequa works together with a total of five employees of the "Human Resources Development Foundation, Inc." (HRDF) founded by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), which shares a joint office with sequa on the premises of PCCI. The establishment of this foundation by PCCI is an important result of the project and decisive for the sustainability of the project's impact. The overall coordination is essentially carried out by the Philippine Steering Committee, in which sequa, PCCI/HRDF, GIZ, AFOS Foundation, Cebu Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI), GPCCI and SBFIC are represented. Project planning, ideas, progress and budget are discussed and defined in quarterly meetings. In addition, sequa's experts advise PCCI HRDF and develop concepts on how dual vocational training in the Philippines can be offered in a financially sustainable way with the participation of the private sector and other stakeholders and how it can be further developed in a way that is relevant to employment. sequa has also initiated the development of a holistic and impact-oriented monitoring system and coordinated with all project partners. This system records all project activities and results and informs the participating partners and other stakeholders about the progress of the project. At the same time, the monitoring system provides valuable information on the need for coordination and possible synergy effects resulting from cooperation between the various development cooperation partners and the private sector in this joint project.


GIZ has been a partner in K to 12 PLUS since the beginning of the project. GIZ's services focus on policy advice. Two main approaches are pursued.

On the one hand a dialogue with the Department of Education is supported. The different VET clusters of K to 12 PLUS each have different projects depending on the industry sector and the region. GIZ supports the project in its dialogue with the Department of Education to anchor this in the relevant administrative regulations.

On the other hand, GIZ supports the project partners (chambers and trade associations) in developing a qualified position in the discussion on vocational education and training in the Philippines. This is done by commenting on existing legislative projects. In addition, with the support of German experts, a position paper is being developed that will enable the project partners to clarify the interests of the private sector in vocational education and training in the political discussion.


The German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) contributes its expertise to K to 12 PLUS as a cooperation partner of the German economy. sequa represents the ZDH in the Philippines and coordinates the deployment of ZDH experts. The ZDH made a significant contribution to the project with regard to the development of "in-company trainer" courses based on regional standards for the Philippines. 25 master trainers were trained. In the meantime, they have trained 97 supervisors as in-company trainers in the pilot cluster training companies. In response to the special needs of MSMEs, the ZDH commissioned the development of an e-learning programme "Training of In-company Trainers". The introduction of the e-learning programme will better prepare the participants of in-company trainer training for the subsequent classroom training and reduce the duration of the latter. This promotes the willingness of the MSMEs involved to let their employees take part in in-company training. The ZDH also supports the development of a toolbox to facilitate the replication of the dual approaches. This toolbox contains templates, such as report books and training plans, which can be used to document the achievement of given competencies.


As a cooperation partner of the economy of the Kto12 PLUS project the Foreign Chamber of Commerce Philippines (AHK) looks after the metal processing industry. In a subproject the AHK cooperates with two local industry associations and a school in San Pedro, Luzon. The aim is to teach students the skills that are relevant to the job market in a more practice-oriented way. This improves the graduates' chances of being hired and contributes to securing the skilled labour of local companies. In concrete terms, the AHK supports partner companies and schools in the development and implementation of an industry-relevant curriculum and the structuring of the practical part on the model of the German dual system. At the same time, the AHK advises local chambers of commerce and industry associations within the framework of the Kto12 PLUS project in order to better fulfil their central role in vocational and further training. This includes the dissemination of quality assurance elements of vocational education and training, such as the training of trainers.


The AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation is an independent, charitable foundation, founded by members of the Bund Katholischer Unternehmer e.V. (Association of Catholic Entrepreneurs). (BKU) was founded in 2003. Since 2010, the BKU has supported the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) as well as other chambers and associations in the Visayas, Philippines. As part of the K to 12 PLUS project, the AFOS Foundation is implementing vocational training clusters in three sectors in Cebu: (1) Construction, (2) Food production and (3) Tourism. Each pilot cluster follows a dual training approach with 60% of the training time in companies and 40% of the time in the classroom. The active participation of chambers, associations, companies and schools in the clusters ensures that the curricula are relevant to the needs and circumstances of the sector. In April 2017, 93 female graduates left the 12th classes of the pilot clusters. Since 2018, so-called plus elements have been implemented in the construction and food industry pilot clusters. This is an optional further training after the 12th school year for those who wish to specialise. The PLUS elements conclude with a chamber certificate. The AFOS Foundation is currently supporting CCCI in the introduction of ACAS, a database for the accreditation and certification of pupils, employees, trainers, schools and companies.


The Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation aims to transfer the successful model of the Sparkassen from Germany to developing and emerging countries in order to provide local people with access to financial services and thus contribute to prosperity development and stable economic structures. Training and personnel development are integral components of all Sparkassenstiftung projects, and successful concepts are transferred to existing local educational structures. As part of the Kto12 Plus joint project, Sparkassenstiftung is implementing the "Finance Dualized Education" (FDE) component and is thus responsible for introducing dual training in the country's microfinance sector. In addition to identifying and selecting umbrella organisations, microfinance institutions and schools for the formation of training clusters, the main focus is on developing curricula and textbooks for the microfinance, bookkeeping and microinsurance training courses, as well as on training in-company and school trainers. Currently, the main focus is on involving microfinance associations in dual training in order to anchor it in the structures of the financial sector on a sustainable basis.

GIZ development aid

Since September 2015, a GIZ-delegated development aid worker has been supporting PCCI/HRDF in setting up the K to 12 pilot cluster in Laiya, Luzon. Laiya is a fast-growing tourist destination and is located three hours by car south of Metro Manila by the sea. A Memorandum of Understanding between HRDF, the DepEd school authority, the TESDA vocational training authority and the local hotel association (ALRO) initially focused on a pilot cluster in the hospitality sector. With its expertise in the hotel and restaurant sector and the dual training system in Germany, the EH combines the standard curriculum of the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) for classes 11 and 12 with 800 instead of 80 planned training hours. The vocational preparation takes place in the areas of hotel cleaning, restaurant and reception. For this purpose, 11th and 12th grade teachers and 41 trainers were trained in the hospitality industry. In regular coordination meetings between the company, the school, the local hotel association and the chamber, the progress of the training is monitored and the curriculum is synchronised for the students, who record what they have learned in their report booklets. In the meantime, 155 pupils have graduated from high school and 97 have received an additional chamber certificate "Hotel and Restaurant Services" from PCCI/HRDF. A further 123 students are currently in 12th grade and 157 in 11th grade of the K to 12 PLUS cluster in Laiya.