ALTOGETHER, 845 out-of-school youths, unemployed, under employed and former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Pampanga recently completed the short-term courses conducted by the Provincial Manpower Training Center (PMTC) last year.

Filipina Sevilla, unit head of the PMTC, recently reported this to Pampanga Governor Eddie T. Panlilio.

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In her report, Sevilla cited that among the courses conducted by PMTC are computer hardware servicing, consumer electronics, data encoding, diesel and gas engine mechanic, hair dressing, computer literacy, auto-electricity technician, preventive maintenance and troubleshooting.

The center, according to Sevilla, conducted courses designed to provide the target clientele with needed knowledge and skills to enable them to find better livelihood opportunities.

She explained that with the completion of their courses, the 845 graduates are now better qualified to seek employment and even put up their own small-scale business, either locally or abroad.

"We, in the Provincial Government, envision to provide those who do not have the means to pursue higher education with equal employment opportunities and for them to be equally competitive with the others who are lucky enough to complete formal education," she explained.

Sevilla reported that the graduates hail from various towns of the province; Masantol, Floridablanca, Guagua, Minalin, Sta. Rita, Sta.Ana, Macabebe, Apalit, Mexico, Lubao, Arayat, Candaba, San Simon, Mabalacat, Porac including Angeles City.

These local government units, including the Alay Lakad Foundation, provided financial support to the trainees in their respective areas amounting to P343,950.

The PMTC report also showed that hairdressing courses were also conducted in Barangays San Joaquin in Sta. Ana and Sta.Lucia in Magalang for 50 qualified beneficiaries in line with its alternative youth skills training program.

Under this program, the participants were trained on hair coloring, hair and scalp treatment, perming, bleaching, cutting and basic principles of hairdressing by Amor Montemayor.

Successful graduates of the hairdressing course have given back their newly-acquired skills to the Provincial Government by providing free hair cutting services to 2,125 beneficiaries in barangays visited by the Pamisaupan caravan, the flagship program of the Panlilio administration.

Among the areas benefited by the free hair cutting services are Masantol, Arayat, Floridablanca, Macabebe, Candaba, San Simon, San Luis, Mexico, Magalang, Sta. Ana, Porac, Sto. Tomas, Sasmuan, Minalin, Sta. Rita, Mabalacat, Apalit, Lubao, Guagua and the City of San Fernando.

In addition, training on body massage treatment for 17 youths in Barangay San Jose, Sta. Rita was also conducted last year.

Sevilla said this year, the training center will continue to intensify its efforts in the conduct of skills trainings designed to meet the pressing needs of its target clientele.(Erlinda T. Yutuc/PIO)