TESDA, Holcim tie up anew to train 2,200 out-of-school youth

31 October 2011

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Holcim Philippines,  one of the country’s leading cement manufactures, have renewed their partnership to open up opportunities to develop the country’s freshly-minted construction workers.

Under a memorandum of agreement signed last week, TESDA and Holcim agreed to jointly undertake the training, assessment and certification of some 2,200 out-of-school youth in construction crafts such as masonry, carpentry and blueprint reading certification.
The training in masonry will be in any of the following: Masonry NC I which covers basic  safety, trade mathematics, basic bonds and joints, joints, mortar concrete, masonry works, masonry ties and reinforcement basic, masonry tools and equipment, concrete materials.
Masonry National Certificate II (NCII) covers training on clay masonry materials, stone masonry, blueprint specification reading, plastering special wall and floor surfaces finishes.

Masonry National Certificate III (NC III), on the other hand, is a 10-day training for highly-skilled masons on the methods of masonry construction, form design, concrete finish reinforcements, plan reading, concrete repairs and corrections, among others.

As part of the apprenticeship, trainees will also be tapped to help build school buildings, government housing and other infrastructure projects.
With the construction industry on a steady rise, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said the government should be prepared to supply the continuous need of the sector for skilled masons.

This year, the government continues to look at the construction industry as major driver of growth in the gross domestic product.

“It used to be that workers just needed pick and shovel.  Recent developments in technology, however, necessitate that our masons upgrade their skills to be able to cope,” Villanueva said.

But while hard labor is still involved at present, Villanueva said workers still need to be trained to be competent, precise and skilled.
The five-year agreement is a renewal of an earlier deal signed back in 2004 by TESDA and Holcim, formerly Union Cement Corp.

The Philippine Constructors Association Inc. (PCAI) and the Association of Construction and Informal Workers (ACIW) are also signatories in the latest agreement.

Under the agreement, Holcim will conduct the training, provide the trainees’ allowances, tools and materials, and provide honoraria to trainers. PCA, on the other hand will update, evaluate and standardize the training module, while ACIW will provide the pools of trainers and assessors as well as monitoring of graduates.

TESDA will assist Holcim by providing personnel who will conduct the assessment of graduates and later issue certification for those who will pass the assessment.

The TESDA regional officers with the help of the local government units and non-government organizations will identify the sites where trainees can practice their skills.

The TESDA and Holcim partnership through the Galing Mason has so far produced 3,000 graduates.  The Galing Mason Awards is conducted annually to recognize outstanding masons nationwide.

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