In Southeast Asia, the emergence of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community will lead to—and require—unprecedented labor mobility and opportunity. For youth to be competitive in this new environment, they will need to demonstrate a strong mix of technical and work readiness skills, such as digital literacy, problem solving, and communication.

Through the Accelerating Work Achievement and Readiness for Employment (AWARE) project, a corporate responsibility partnership with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, EDC helped young people gain these needed skills and find jobs. Key to AWARE’s notable success has been direct links between employers and vocational institutions in the region to enable young people and industry alike to leverage growth by strengthening the workforce.

Key Activities

AWARE helped young people develop soft skills—leadership, teamwork, and communication—alongside in-demand technical skills, both in schools and through working directly with employers. The project’s activities included the following:

  • Implemented Work Ready Now! and work-based learning in 12 project school sites in Indonesia and the Philippines (6 schools in Jakarta, 3 in Manila, and 3 in Cebu).
  • Established and improved practical relationships between technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools, local businesses, and government to create a more market-driven TVET system.


  • 4,357 students were trained on Work Ready Now! and 98 percent of them were placed in work-based learning. Two thousand AWARE graduates have already been employed.
  • 135 teachers were trained on the AWARE project model.
  • More than 200 ministry officials in both Indonesia and the Philippines have been trained on the AWARE project.
  • Students were placed in over 65 local businesses for on-the-job training.

Learn More

JPMorgan Chase Foundation

Ministry of Education in Indonesia, Department of Education in the Philippines, Indonesia Center for Development and Empowerment of Teachers and Education Personnel (P4TK, Indonesia’s National Teacher Training College), The Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN)