October 4, 2023

With the rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation that are out to disrupt several traditional jobs, the Department of Science and Technology has taken steps in providing innovative ways for workers to retool and build new skills in order to adapt to the changing labor market landscape in the country.
According to a study conducted by tech giant Cisco and Oxford Economics, about 1.1 million jobs in the Philippines will be replaced due to advancement in technology by 2028.
During a recent virtual presser organized by the National Task Force Against Covid-19 Sub-Task Group on Economic Recovery, DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Peña said the agency has prepared for this and launched Project Sparta or Smarter Philippines through Data Analytics Research and Development, Training and Adoption in 2019.
The program aims to upgrade the skills of an initial 30,000 workers by 2022, primarily to address the inevitable scenario.
Sparta is similar to Coursera, an educational platform that offers online courses for free in partnership with top universities and organizations worldwide.
Dela Peña said Sparta was conceptualized to upgrade skills and equip workers with new capabilities in data science, data analytics, AI, and other related fields. The program opened the 30,000 slots for training of interested individuals who wish to take up data science, data analytics, AI, and other related fields as the labor market shifts more to digital technology. 
“We hope through this program, we could retool those who will be affected by the global growth of AI,” said dela Peña.
He added graduates of the program will be required to take capstone projects to benefit the government. A capstone project refers to a multi-faceted project, like a thesis that can serve as a culminating academic and intellectual experience or exercise for the students.
To date, Sparta has already generated 23,000 enrollees where 600 have already finished their respective courses.
DOST recently offered 75,000 slots on Coursera. “We rank fifth in the ability to finish the Coursera program,” dela Peña said.
Sparta is implemented by the Development Academy of the Philippines together with the Analytics Association of the Philippines, and DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development. – Press release