Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday expressed elation over the report of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva saying more Filipinos have chosen practical, in-demand, and well-paying technical-vocational courses this year as can be gleaned from the number of students who have availed of the TESDA’s flagship Training for Work Scholarship Program, or TWSP.

Secretary Villanueva’s preliminary report, which covers the period ending 30 November, also show that theTESDA trained, assessed, and issued certificates of skills competency to  859,889 workers in the first 11 months of the year, compared to 830,458 during the same period in 2012, an increase of 3.5 percent, or 29,430 workers.

“The 859,889 workers were issued certificates of skills competency in such areas as agri-fisheries, automotive, construction, electronics, furnitures and fixtures, garments, health, social and other community development services, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, information technology, maritime, metals and engineering, processed foods, tourism, utilities, and technical-vocation education and training (TVET,” Baldoz, who chairs the TESDA board of trustees, said.

During the period, the TESDA also granted TWSP slots to 78,099 grantees, surpassing by 80 percent, or 43,381, the 34,718 TWSP scholars in the first 11 months of 2012.

The TESDA pursues the The TWSP in partnership with industries, and the agency has embarked on a new phase bringing its training opportunities in diverse skills to the grassroots to make tech-voc more accessible.

On technical-vocational training, the TESDA has recorded during the eleven-month period 1,443,015 individuals trained in in-demand industry occupations through the network of TESDA-supervised training schools nationwide. The number already exceeds the 1,331,000 individuals provided with tech-voc training projected under TVET during the year.

“This brings the TESDA closer to the realization of its total goal of 8,487,070 persons enrolled and trained in various technical-vocational courses throughout the Philippines from 2010 to 2016,” said Villanueva in his report.

Under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the target is identified as part of the third cycle of National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP) covering the period 2011-2016.

The TESDA projects the number of TVET enrollees to increase every year starting with 1.1 million in 2011; 1,210,000 in 2012; 1,331,000 in 2013; 1,464,000 in 2014; 1,610,510 in 2015; and, 1,771,560 in 2016.

Baldoz urged jobseekers, students, and workers to pursue the TESDA’s training opportunities, assessment and certification, and scholarship programs which are available year-round.

“The TESDA effectively complements the DOLE’s employment facilitation mandate through its consistent pursuit of training programs that raise the bar of skills of Filipino workers which makes them globally and nationally competitive and productive,” she said.

She added that TESDA’s technical-vocational training services contributes significantly to DOLE-led efforts to ensure decent and productive work for all Filipino workers, consistent with the overarching goal stated by President Aquino III, in his 22-point labor and employment agenda to “invest in our country’s top resource, our human resource, to make us more competitive and employable while promoting industrial peace based on social justice”, by ensuring the skills training and upgrading of workers.

Attached to the DOLE, the TESDA is in charge of ensuring relevant, accessible, high quality technical-vocational education and skills development to attain international competitiveness for the country’s human resource, as mandated under R. A. 7796, or the TESDA Act.

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