TESDA, ILO tap 2,000 scholars from poorest provinces

19 October 2011

A total of 2,000 youths from four of the country's poorest provinces will have the chance to move from idleness into the world of work.

In store for them are free training on the course of their choice, stipend and opportunities for employment or a business of their own under the joint program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Dubbed as “Alternatives to Migration:  Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth,” a labor market-responsive technical vocational skills training for disadvantaged youth, the program is expected to benefit 500 youth each from the provinces of Masbate, Antique, Agusan del Sur and Maguindanao.

The first batch of 940 youths has been training since September, and the second batch is being readied for this month. 

After the classroom sessions, the students will undergo hands-on on-the-job-training with select companies through an apprenticeship program.  They are expected to complete the program on or before end of May 2012.

“Jobs and the urgent need to provide them are high in the priority list in the government's development agenda in the Philippines as it is the same case in other countries where youth employment scenarios are near-crisis level,” TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.

“We need to give them the chance to move from idleness and get them into the world of work. To be idle is an appalling waste of resources as well as a personal tragedy for many people,” he added.

The scholarships are made possible with the P20-million commitment of the ILO for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) Joint Programme on Youth, Employment and Migration (YEM).
The program will also have a gender-sensitivity component, which will require TESDA to reproduce gender-sensitive modules and training materials, including training tools on sexually-transmitted infections and HIV/ AIDS, and roll out the developed curriculum among TVET trainers.

For the first batch of training, a total of 250 scholars were selected from Maguindanao; 250 from Antique; 190 from Masbate; and, 250 from Agusan.

Some P8.3 million has been allocated to cover the cost of scholarship.

Among the popular courses chosen by the scholars are the computer hardware, driving, shielded metal arc welding, dressmaking, commercial cooking, food and beverage servicing, plumbing, masonry, and motorcycle servicing.

Within one year after the completion of the training, Villanueva hopes that 1,100 of the graduates or 55 percent will find employment.

“Training the youth is only half the work done, helping them find employment or engage into livelihood activities of their own is the ideal scenario, thus, the government should find better ways to target skills training to the very best jobs available,” Villanueva said.

The TESDA chief said he also hopes that the TESDA-ILO project could reach more poor provinces in the future to open up opportunities for them through technical-vocational training, and boost job creation in the countryside.

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