March 09, 2019

The chiefs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have directed their respective regional directors to coordinate immediately pending the memorandum of agreement between the two agencies officially sealing the on-site training plan which will help address the gap on the demand for skilled workers in the country.

TESDA Director General Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña initiated the talks with DPWH Secretary Mark Villar last March 5.  With the proposal dubbed as the Program on Project-based On-site Learning of Skilled Construction Professionals (PPOL SCoP), TESDA plans to launch applicable construction skills training in DPWH sites.

Aside from the DPWH, Lapeña proposed that the on-site construction skills training to be in close partnership with the local government units (LGUs), and government-accredited construction companies in order to speed up the government infrastructure constructions under the Build, Build, Build program of the Administration.

This program also ensures that all graduates of this training will learn based on the competency standards of the partner construction companies, receive National Certificates, and eventually be hired by the same accredited companies.

The PPOL SCoP will be based on the actual work processes done in the site where the training will also be held, meaning, each training will be different depending on the specific skills needed in the site. The training plan and curriculum will be developed by TESDA and the in-company trainers, construction superintendents, supervisors, and lead men to better prepare the trainees for work.

TESDA’s proposed program is also in line with the Republic Act No. 6685 which makes it mandatory for contractors to hire at least fifty per cent unskilled and thirty per cent skilled workers from bona fide residents where government infrastructures are being constructed. Bringing the training near these residents can encourage them to avail of free construction training and acquire construction-related jobs.

Also, TESDA is now gathering information on the employment status of the 2017 and 2018 graduates pegged at 83,649 and 234, 546, respectively.

With these, TESDA can also address the need for skilled construction workers while also working on challenges on unemployment and skills mismatch—one of the Agency’s thrusts under Secretary Lapeña’s supervision.

“TESDA will help the unemployed graduates to connect with various construction companies in need of skilled workers and laborers. Our job should cover assistance from enrolment to employment,” Lapena said. 

This latest initiative from TESDA is also in response to the directive of the President Rodrigo Duterte for the agency to train more skilled workers in the field of construction.