Issue of September 20, 2020
Mt. Province

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Displaced workers offered skills retooling for new jobs
by TESDA release

Workers displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic are being encouraged to avail of the government’s free skills retooling programs so they can transition to new jobs or put up micro-enterprises.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority has a wide range of highly specialized courses meant to enable laid off workers to find new employment or self-employment opportunities, said Aniceto Bertiz III, Tesda deputy director-general for partnerships and linkages.

“Aircraft maintenance technicians who lost their jobs, for instance, might want to venture into automotive or heavy equipment servicing, while separated restaurant food servers might want to go into home-based bread and pastry production,” Bertiz said.

“Learners can take their newly acquired practical skills wherever they may want to go – whether they decide to enlist in the Balik Probinsya Program, or look for jobs overseas.”

Bertiz advised those aspiring to gain “new applied and employable skills” to visit the Tesda website, which also has a list of the nearest training center offering various courses.

Tesda also has courses available via remote or distance learning, Bertiz said.

“We have ample funds for our programs and we should be able to serve a greater number of apprentices, as the government is readying more funds for 2021,” Bertiz said.

In the 2021 budget endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte to Congress, Bertiz said the government is investing in Tesda P13.5 billion in new appropriations, including P3.6B for the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), P2.9B for the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Program (UAQTEP), P1.5B for the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), and P1B for the Tulong Trabaho Fund.

The TWSP provides courses designed to qualify apprentices for jobs in agri-fishery, agri-business, agro-industrial, information technology-business process management, semiconductor and electronics, and other priority manufacturing industries, logistics, general infrastructure, and new and emerging sectors.

The STEP promotes community-based specialty skills training for the indigent families under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction and families reliant on the informal economy.

The UAQTEP gives tuition and other forms of subsidy to students enrolled in accredited technical-vocational schools.

The Tulong Trabaho Fund supports innovative skills training based on evolving and specified industry demands as well as critical competency shortages.

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