TESDA churns out 860,000 certified specialistas in 2013

Published January 3, 2014

23 December 2013

The country produced around 860,000 technical vocational (tech-voc) graduates who are now holders of National Certificates, exceeding its target for the year.

“These are graduates who passed the assessment and are now certified TESDA specialistas. A number of them, in fact, are already employed, especially those who have finished their courses earlier,” Secretary Joel Villanueva, director general of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the country’s prime agency for managing tech-voc courses.

Villanueva said the specialistas are TESDA’s contribution in building the country’s workforce with competencies that are attuned to the demand of the nation’s growing the economy.

The 859,889 certified specialistas, which were recorded from January to November 2013, exceeded TESDA’s target of 850,00. In 2012, a total of 803,350 graduates were certified.

For the same 11-month period, the agency reported a total of 1.61 million enrollees and 1.44 graduates in various tech-voc courses. These figures will increase further once the December reports from the regional offices reach the central headquarters.

Under the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) Program, 96,236 students have completed their training programs with subsidy from the government. The financial support covers the training fee as well as the competency assessment fee.

The TWSP provides immediate interventions to fill in the requirements for highly critical and in-demand skills. PESFA, on the other hand, aims to provide skills to poor but deserving high school students and help them become employable.

This year, the agency likewise focused on enhancing the capability of tech-voc trainers across the country. Some 5,413 trainers underwent training in training methodology to improve their teaching techniques to deliver quality programs.

With funding from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the governments of Korea and the Philippines established the Human Resource Development Center. The center is intended to offer training in higher technology to Filipino trainers, particularly in animation, game development and mechatronics.

“With the high unemployment rate, particularly among our youth, the onus is on the government to ensure access to quality tech-voc through competent trainers and relevant programs,” Villanueva said.

To ensure the quality of its tech-voc provision, TESDA applied for ISO certification. The agency is now first national education agency to pass international quality standards. It is now ISO 9001:2008 certified for its key processes in program registration and assessment and certification.

Starting with the first batch of three Regional Offices and Executive Offices in 2012, TESDA expanded in 2013 the coverage to five more regions and three more processes, including the development of Training Regulations, the agency’s training standards that set the minimum requirements to be complied by institutions desiring to offer tech-voc programs.

The agency’s central office and more than 50 percent of its regional and provincial offices are now ISO certified.

“As of the moment, all our remaining regional and provincial offices are gearing up and preparing for their certification in 2014,” Villanueva said. As a strategy, he said, they tap the certified regions to assist and nurture the others in preparing for their ISO journey.

As part of the agency’s quality assurance, its regional and provincial offices regularly conduct compliance audit of registered programs. As of end of November, a total of 5,120 registered programs were audited to ensure their compliance to the prescribed standards set by the agency.

To make tech-voc accessible anytime and anywhere, TESDA’s Online Programs have spread quickly across cyberspace. Launched on May 14, 2012, the online programs have generated 149,925 users and 4,968,911 views as of December 22, 2013. New courses were added in the roster of courses now being offered. These include computer hardware servicing, room attendant servicing, guest room attendant servicing, cellphone servicing, bus boy servicing, game programming NC III, waiter servicing, valet servicing and fruit grower.

For its Apprenticeship and Learnership Programs, 58,579 apprentices and learners were given the opportunity to acquire some skills and gain work experience in companies participating in these programs.

To increase access of the poor and those residing in remote areas to training opportunities, TESDA has launched the mobile training programs. Through its own Mobile Bus and more than 50 Mobile Training providers, training programs are now being offered in these areas. The Mobile Bus offers programs in Computer Hardware Servicing NC II, Consumer Electronics NC II, Electrical Installation Maintenance NC II, Security Services NC II, Automotive Services and Community Disaster Preparedness.

Through the TESDA Specialista Technopreneurship Program, TESDA provides alternative job opportunities to TVET graduates. With the successful launch of the TSTP, different aggrupations have been organized consisting of TESDA Specialistas. They are now providing services to their respective barangay and communities as self-employed individuals. These aggrupations consist of the Food and Beverage Services, Welding Services, Caregiver Services, Computer Hardware Services, Appliance Repair Services, Building Repair and Maintenance Services, Beauty Care and Wellness Services and Auto/Vehicle Maintenance Services.

TESDA’s partnership with Coca Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc. focused on women retailers and was among the agency’s unique programs towards women empowerment. The Sari-sari Store Training Access to Resources (STAR) project targets 100,000 women all over the country for training program designed up to 2020 as a way of providing opportunities to earn or increase the potentials of their current businesses. Women sari-sari store owners are provided training on accounting, managing their businesses and were given merchandise support to prop their business.

Since the program started in 2012, it has benefitted 8,227 sari-sari store owners. A total of 10,000 is targeted to be assisted in 2013-1014 in eight regions covering 14 provinces. Close to P29 million has been allocated for this.

Aiming to demonstrate the competencies of the best tech-voc graduates and skilled workers, the TESDA regional and provincial offices held skills competition to select the winners who will compete at the national finals, and at the ASEAN Skills Competition. The winners did not only receive cash prizes, but got a chance to engage in intensive training to further hone their craft and make them ready for the higher level competition.

Last year, TESDA fielded a team of competitors and trade experts to the biennial ASEAN Skills Competition (ASC) in Jakarta. Team Philippines was not in competition status in the last three ASC competitions starting 2006.

Pristine Joyce de Guzman of Pasay City, the lone medal winner in the Philippine team, won a bronze in Fashion Technology. As the best performing competitor in the team, Pristine also won the Best of Nation Award.

In October, TESDA held its second Tech-Voc Congress where experts discussed critical issues and the latest trends in tech-voc. During the congress, the Tatak TESDA Video Making Contest was launched. The contest aims to encourage successful tech-voc graduates to document their own success stories on video and be the role model among the youth and the unemployed.

TESDA continued to beef up its support to the graduates after finishing their courses through Job Bridging Program that links the certified specialistas to potential employers.

As of November 30, 2013, there are 1,806 functioning Blue Desks throughout the country that have assisted 462,354 tech-voc graduates in their search for employment opportunities. Of this, a total of 274,573 Blue Desk clients landed in jobs.

“We do not stop after training and certifying our graduates. We provide them with post-training assistance through the Jobs Bridging Program to help them get employed at the shortest time as possible,” Villanueva added.

TESDA is also taking steps to train its own people. With assistance from the Temasek Foundation and ITE Education Services of Singapore, selected regional and provincial directors of the agency underwent leadership training here in the Philippines and in Singapore. Other training programs offered focused on quality management system, coaching and mentoring, effective communication, leadership, good governance, and effective speaking and writing.

TESDA is also in the midst of giving assistance to survivors of calamities by conducting skills training in affected areas and evacuation centers. The training programs in typhoon Yolanda-hit provinces of Leyte and Samar for instance, have not only helped provide job and livelihood opportunities to the survivors, but also gave them a morale booster to start anew.

Working together with My Shelter Foundation, TESDA offered its trainees and volunteers to help produce solar night lights using available raw materials such as empty soda bottle. The solar lights were distributed to communities destroyed by the typhoon, and several more units are bound for the country’s poorest municipalities.

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