With the task of shaping the skills of women entrepreneurs falling on their shoulders, the trainers are themselves getting a honing of their skills.
Two sets of intensive training courses were developed for trainers involved in the implementation of the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) program, a partnership between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Coca-Cola Philippines Inc.
"Our trainers are at the core of any education system, including technical-vocational education. They are fundamental to developing the trainees' skills and applying them in the real work setting," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.
The Training of Trainers (ToT) will focus on Gender and Sensitivity Training and on the STAR program. The Gender Sensitivity Training was held from October 20 to 26, while the training on the STAR program is scheduled from November 17 to 23.
Gender and development are being highlighted in the training of the trainers because the beneficiaries of the Coke-TESDA STAR Program are all women sari-sari store and carinderia owners. TESDA and Coke aim to empower a total of 200,000 women entrepreneurs by the year 2020.
The ToT is in preparation for the 2015 STAR program target of 30,000 women beneficiaries to be trained nationwide. Half of the target beneficiaries will come from the Greater Manila Area, including Rizal, while the other half will come from selected regions where micro-finance institutions and Coca-Cola merchandising support are strong.
"Putting well-trained and knowledgeable trainers at the forefront of our training is very important. They will deliver our goal of having empowered women beneficiaries," Villanueva said.
"The trainers who have been trained in gender and development and entrepreneurship will replicate this in their respective areas and help women manage their business well," he added.
The training centered on basic gender and development concepts, gender division of labor, and gender relations and women economic empowerment. Lectures, audio visuals and focus group discussions were used to facilitate the training.
The trainers will cascade their learning to the women beneficiaries of the program through a series of training.
The STAR program enhances the business knowledge and skills of women sari-sari store and carinderia owners by providing them opportunity to experience formal skills training. Aside from the gender and sensitivity training, they are also taught to plan and manage their business and have access to resources to help make their business sustainable.
"Women help fuel our economy, especially the millions of women involved in small and medium enterprises. It is in this recognition of the women as engines of growth and employment that we are ensuring that we provide them with quality skills through training," Villanueva said. END