Tech-voc training is still in vogue, says TESDA chief

19 September 2011

More people turn to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as families struggle even harder to afford traditional education and demand for jobs requiring specialized skills continue to rise.

Director General Joel Villanueva, the head of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the sole government body tasked to handle tech-voc education, said the agency is up the challenge of delivering the needs of the people for quality technical vocational education training and, at the same time, meeting the requirements of the industries for skilled, competent workers.

“The local and global economy is fast changing and education therefore has to continue to change.  We need technical vocational courses that will cut it in today’s economy so that we do not only produce graduates, but people who will later on be part of the work force,” Villanueva said.

“The industries are TESDA’s major clients.  TVET programs will be geared towards their needs,” he added.

Villanueva said the agency constantly consults with TVET institutions and other partners to know their needs and get inputs on how to improve the delivery of TVET services in the country.

In each region, he said the potential of the youth, particularly the out-of-school youth, workers, returning overseas Filipino workers and trainers should be tapped towards exploring technical-vocational education as an option to be more competitive.

TESDA offers scholarships through its Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and the Private Education Students Fund Assistance (PESFA) program.  It also implements community-based and enterprise-based training programs to bring TVET closer to the people, especially in rural communities.  Its 125 Technology Institutes composed of schools and training centers administer the programs all over the country.
For 2012, TESDA’s two scholarship programs – TWSP and PESFA – will get P700 million and P200 million, respectively, which are expected to benefit close to 65,000 scholars.

Villanueva said the agency has also stepped up its review and evaluation of programs in various qualifications it offers, identified and beefed up those that are demanded and most relevant to industries to ensure jobs for its graduates.

One result of the quest for workplace relevance is its thrust to make its scholars train with a specific job in mind.  It has revived efforts to promote the apprenticeship programs among companies.

“There’s no better place to practice what one learns in the classroom than in the future workplace, and so we also want companies to adopt the dual training system alongside our technical vocational institutions,” Villanueva added.

Villanueva takes pride of TESDA's strengthened assessment and certification program, which he said is equally important to those who have finished the course as well as to workers who possess the knowledge and skills.

The TESDA certification has given them the badge of becoming TESDA 'Specialistas,' which boost their chances for employment.

Under Villanueva’s term, a total of 622,831 individuals have received the certification out of the 740,673 who took the assessment from July 2010 to July 2011.

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