Tesda training to drug users, barangays to address job gap

UNDER the new administration, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) plans to give free skills training to fully rehabilitated drug dependents in the country.

This program aims to tackle the problems posed by most rehabilitated drug dependents who find it hard to find a job after their treatments, said Director General Secretary Guiling Mamondiong.

Mamondiong said that Tesda will also take care of their national certification and employment facilitation after their free skills training.

"In support of the present administration we are to give these training classes strictly to fully rehabilitated drug-dependents. Also we are looking at the future exercise of putting our prospective trainees under drug tests before they can start with their training," said Alvin Feliciano, Tesda Deputy Director General.

Feliciano noted that the planned program still needs further study before its implementation.

Tesda officials were here to announce that their flagship program, Barangay Kasanayan para sa Kabuhayan at Kapayapaan, aims to address the skills gap of constituents in the barangays in Northern Mindanao.

Mamondiong discussed that Tesda will tap into individual barangays in the country to ask barangay heads to select a barangay official to be authorized to select possible Tesda scholarship grantees.

Mamondiong added that this is the first time that barangays will be given active participation in the skills training of their constituents.

"This is actually a form of barangay empowerment. We all know that aside from the school and other similar institutions, the barangays particularly know people in their area and the needs of these people. This program will actually enforce a wider dissemination of the programs that are offered by Tesda," said Mamondiong.

TESDA regional director Edgar Sales said that as of this month, they have already sent request letters to all 2,022 barangays of Misamis Oriental.

Sales said that the program will open a total of 35,000 scholarship slots in Technical-Vocational Institutions (TVIs) in Northern Mindanao.

Sales further discussed that this program will further heighten the employment in Region 10 which he says is at 94.4 percent as of their recent survey.

Meanwhile, Feliciano said that by the end of the year, Tesda will initiate a tie-in with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce to make them help in opening up and prioritizing local and international job opportunities for Tesda graduates.

Feliciano said that this partnership is the very first Tesda's history and it will really help their skills programs to yield better results.

"We actually have the skills, I think that the Filipinos have more skills, but the problem is we do not have the opportunities to practice these skills or to improve on them. With these new Tesda projects, the 'Barangay Kasanayan para sa Kabuhayan at Kapayapaan', the free skills training for rehabilitated drug-dependents, and the partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, we think that our graduates and future Tesda students will have a better shot," Feliciano added.

By 2017, Mamondiong is also planning on initiating a national skills festival in Manila to be participated by representatives coming from the different regions of the country.

Mamondiong said this aims to showcase the skills training of each region and to select possible representatives of the Philippines for international skills competitions in Dubai and Bangkok.
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