From blue-collar to pink? | SunStar

From blue-collar to pink?

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From blue-collar to pink?

Monday, May 02, 2016

HOMEGROWN Primary Structures Educational Foundation Inc. (PSEFI) wants to train more women to empower and help them land high-paying jobs abroad, especially in industries dominated by men.

Breaking into male-dominated industries, according to Paulette Liu, chief operating officer at Skills, is no longer impossible for women now that companies around the world are open to hiring women for blue-collar jobs.

Skills stands for the School of Knowledge for Industrial Labor, Leadership and Service.

“Women are an untapped talent pool,” said Liu. “If given proper training, they also excel, something which global companies are starting to realize. They now all see women as part of the potential solution in addressing the demand for blue-collar jobs.”

PSEFI brands itself as the leading training and certifying institution for technical and vocational courses in all construction-related trades. It is also a training and certifying entity for heavy equipment operations.

According to Liu, recent developments like the economic integration of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations have pushed them to encourage more women not just to acquire skills but to be multi-skilled.

In the local scene, robust growth in the domestic economy, with all kinds of businesses sprouting, also opens opportunities for women to land jobs.

“You will be paid higher if you are multi-skilled,” said Liu. With the job market getting tighter, most global companies nowadays consider hiring individuals who have acquired additional skills.

Skills, in partnership with the Technical Education, Skills and Development Authority (Tesda), is encouraging women to consider taking up short courses for jobs that are highly in demand such as welding and operating heavy equipment, among others.

The demand for skilled jobs remains high, according to Liu, in Middle East countries, Canada and Australia.

On its fifth year now, Skills has certified a number of female heavy equipment operators, carpenters, masons, rebar and form workers, and painters. The non-profit institution has also trained cleaners and hospitality workers.

Skills has trained a total of 2,143 students under the different trade/qualifications and earned partnership with various institutions, local government units, non-government organizations, professional and private organizations.

About 83 percent of the institution’s graduates in the last eight years have been employed abroad or by local corporations, according to Liu.

While some opt not to work overseas and leave their families, Skills also helped them land jobs in any of Primary Group of Companies’ subsidiaries like hotels and construction firms. It has also partnered with various recruitment agencies and local employers in providing job opportunities for its graduates.

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who worked abroad during the period April to September 2015 were estimated at 2.4 million. Of the group, 97.1 percent were overseas contract workers or those with work contracts during the period, according to the latest report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Female OFWs accounted for 51.1 percent. About seven percent of female OFWs were 15 to 24 years old, and 29.5 percent were 25 to 29 years. The corresponding percentages of male OFWs in those age groups were 6.8 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively.

Total remittances sent by OFWs during the period reached an estimated P180.3 billion.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 02, 2016.

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