THE right choice for a course could help spell the success or failure of one's career.

In stepping up its career guidance program, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) wants to ensure technical vocational education (tech-voc) graduates enjoy the fruit of their education when they plunge into the real world.

Job-skill mismatch is also addressed when the country has a pool of graduates who took up courses that can easily pave the way for decent jobs.

"Career decisions should be based on the interests of the child and the aspirations of the parents, knowledge of the child's potentials, up-to-date information of the labor market, and the education and training environment," Secretary Joel Villanueva, Tesda director general, said.

"When all of these come into convergence, wiser decisions are made on career choices," he added.

As member of the working group of Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP) and the lead agency for the Career Ambassadors Program Component, Tesda recently conducted a training program for the TVET Career Advocates entitled "A Step to Success, Shaping-up TVET Career Advocates."

The program aims to capacitate the advocates to influence parents and trainees decide on what course to pursue based on labor market information.

In coordination with the Commission on Higher Education, 22 Career Ambassadors were named, composed of 16 TVET Career Ambassadors and 6 higher Education Career Ambassadors.

Villanueva said the Career Ambassadors are expected to deliver talks in congresses, career guidance weeks and convocations. They will also act as speakers in various career advocacy activities.

"The Career Ambassadors will inspire, mentor and inform young people towards their best-suited careers," he added.

The Career Ambassadors were formally introduced during the National Career Advocacy Congress (NCAC) last month. Two NCAC were held, which gathered youth groups, guidance counselors, TESDA personnel; and representatives from employers and workers sector.

The TESDA chief said the two career advocacy congresses gave the various stakeholders the opportunity to be updated on labor market information, career guidance concepts, and to network with possible partners in order to be more equipped and motivated in forming the minds of the youth and give them the needed support to prepare them for work.

"It's important for tech-voc students to find out what their life would be like while in training, but equally important is having an idea of what it will be like after they graduate," Villanueva said.

The career advocacy congress was jointly organized by the Department of Labor and Employment, Tesda, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Professional Regulation Commission and Department of Science and Technology.

For the Cordillera Administrative Region, the TVET Career Ambassador is Gilbert Rafer from the private sector, the LGU Community Training and Employment Coordinator is Justina Daniel of Kabayan, Benguet and the TESDA Regional Office Designated Key Personnel on Career Advocacy Program is Anthony Oria. (PR)