As over 2,000 youth from Metro Manila complete their technical vocational (tech-voc) courses, Secretary Joel Villanueva urged them to use their skills to build their niche in their field of expertise.
"It may sound intimidating, but achieving world-class expertise may not be as daunting as some might believe," Villanueva, Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), said.
"The graduates now have their own specialization, they should focus on it, learn as much as they can, accumulate knowledge and hands-on experience. While they cannot be the authority on everything, they can definitely become an expert on one thing," he said.
President Benigno Aquino III joined Villanueva in feting the graduates of TESDA's Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) in a ceremony on June 23 at the Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City.
The event was also attended by close to a thousand new enrollees of STEP and 1,530 scholars of the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).
The STEP graduates, aside from receiving their certificates, were also given toolkits that they can use to start their business.
STEP is a community-based specialty training program of TESDA aimed to address the specific skills needs of the communities and promote employment, particularly through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities.
The beneficiaries are at least 15 years old, targeted on indigent families. The barangays have been tapped to mobilize the target trainees. The trainees are given allowance for the duration of the course.
“Thousands of youth and unemployed adults all over the country have taken various tech-voc courses and are slowly carving their niche in their communities. They have made the right choice in getting in tech-voc," he said.
Villanueva added that skilled workers are needed everywhere and are vital in running industries.
Priscilla Sapinit, 38, of Marikina City used to do laundry and irons clothes to help her husband put food on the table for their eight kids. But her current work was not sustainable. Hearing about the STEP, she enrolled in Dressmaking NC II and completed the course. She now makes rags and repairs clothes, a new livelihood which proved more profitable and one which she does at home with her children.
Enrico Bautista Torres, 37, of Valenzuela City lost his job in a noodle factory when it closed down. Through her sister, he got to know about the TESDA scholarship and enrolled in a course in Bread Making. With this new found skill, he hopes to start anew for the sake of his family.
TESDA executives and government officials joined the graduation rites, including Deputy Director General for Policies and Planning Irene Isaac, Deputy Director General for TESD Operations Atty. Teodoro Pascua, TESDA NCR Regional Director Nenuca E. Tangonan together with her lady District Directors, and the Officers and Board of Directors of the NCR Alliance of TVET School Association.
Pasay City Mayor Antonino G. Calixto and Congresswoman Emi Calixto-Rubiano of the Lone District of Pasay also took part in the graduation ceremonies. END