Monday, September 19, 2011

Government firms up support for tech-voc education


With more families struggling to afford their children an undergraduate degree, a government official said Monday that some are now turning to technical-vocational education to match the demand for skilled workers here and abroad.

Director General Joel Villanueva, the head of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), the sole government body tasked to handle tech-voc education, said his agency is ready to provide training attuned to the needs of various industries.

Under Villanueva’s term, a total of 622,831 individuals have received the certification out of the 740,673 who took the assessment from July 2010 to July 2011.

No data was released as to the number of graduates who made it to the job market.

Villanueva said the agency constantly consults with TVET (technical-vocational education and training) institutions and other partners to know their needs and get inputs on how to improve the delivery of TVET services in the country.

In each region, he said the potential of out-of-school youth, returning overseas Filipino workers and trainers should be tapped towards exploring technical-vocational education as an option to be more competitive.

For 2012, Tesda’s two scholarship programs –Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and the Private Education Students Fund Assistance (PESFA)– will get P700 million and P200 million, respectively, which are expected to benefit close to 65,000 scholars.

Villanueva said the agency has also stepped up its review and evaluation of programs in various qualifications it offers and identified and beefed up those that are demanded and most relevant to industries to ensure jobs for its graduates.

The country’s unemployment rate slightly went up to 7.1 percent in July from last year’s 7 percent, as the economy produced 870,000 jobs as against 729,000 people who joined the ranks of employed in the same period in 2010.

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