Skills, 2

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Saturday, July 5, 2014


SKILLS stands for School of Knowledge for Industrial Labor, Leadership and Service. A tour of its campus along General Maxilom Ave. with chief operating officer Paulette D. Liu and executive director Ludy Marie B. Lawas revealed first-rate facilities.

In particular, the facility for the Canadian Welding Bureau Training designed by the Canadian Welding Bureau was impressive. But beyond looks, it was the heart and soul of SKILLS that I fell for.

Its vision is to produce globally-competent Filipino builders: its mission, to train and certify Filipino builders for the world guided by the values of quality, productivity, efficiency, creativity, continuous improvement and service.

But SKILLS’ vision goes beyond training, its real thrust is to ensure that graduates are able to find a better life through employment opportunities that will impact the family, the community and eventually, the country.

Accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), SKILLS provides those who cannot pursue a college education, an invaluable opportunity to acquire skills and training that can result into job opportunities.

While the Canadian Welding Bureau Training lasts for 8 months, other programs only run for 21 days. Within a brief period of time, one’s investment in skills is immediately rewarded by prospects for employment.
One of the biggest challenges faced by SKILLS, though, is changing the mindset of the Filipinos. According to COO Paulette, “…People still want to get a college education, pursue university studies. They don’t realize that going into technical-vocational programs will give them better opportunities for employment because in a short span of time, they acquire employable skills. After graduation, an opportunity is already waiting…”

SKILLS has two goals: to be a locally and internationally-certified Training and Assessment Center for vocational and technical courses and to be a financially independent foundation running economically sustainable training programs.

The courses offered by SKILLS today include Carpentry, Masonry, Plumbing, Tile Setting, Construction Painting, Electrical Installation & Maintenance, Shield Metal Arc Welding, Scaffold Erection, Rac Servicing, Reinforced Steel Bars Installation, Heavy Equipment Operation and Servicing, Canadian Welding Bureau Training as well as Household Servicing and Housekeeping.

I asked COO Paulette what her most important message was to the public. “…That there is hope even for those who cannot pursue a college education…”

At the end of the day, the heart and soul of SKILLS is poverty alleviation through the acquisition of globally-competent skills.
Scholarship programs are available to those who cannot afford the
tuition. Organizations who wish to sponsor students can claim a tax deduction.

It’s a win-win situation. All you need to do is to decide whether you want to be a student or a sponsor. Or you can simply spread the word about the opportunities that await those who wish to help and be helped at SKILLS.

This is what nation-building is all about. And we can all take part.
(Email: sunstarcebucolumnist@yahoo.com, Twitter: http://twitter.com/melanietlim)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 06, 2014.

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