With an increase in its 2016 budget, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) aims to enroll more scholars and get skilled workers assessed for certification.
TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said that for next year, at least 231,579 scholars under the Training for Work Scholarship program (TWSP) are being eyed for enrollment. This is higher than the 210,526 scholars targeted for this year.
Of the target TWSP enrollees, he said, around 208,421 are expected to graduate.
"The additional scholars are possible because of the higher proposed budget for TWSP for 2016," Villanueva said, noting the program's budget increase from P2 billion in 2015 to P2.203 billion next year.
As one of TESDA's major programs, the TWSP is directed towards filling up the skills gaps and job requirements of priority industries and sectors with high employment demand, improving the reach of quality technical vocational education and training to the grassroots and encouraging technical-vocational institutions to offer programs in higher qualifications catering to in-demand industry requirements. This will be supportive of the government's thrust of rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth.
The TWSP budget is part of the P6.393 billion proposed budget for TESDA next year, which is 20 percent higher than the agency's current appropriation of P5.3 billion.
With next year’s proposed budget, TESDA hopes to assess a total of 1,371,687 skilled workers and tech-voc graduates.
During the budget deliberation at the House of Representatives, lawmakers pushed for a bigger budget for TESDA to allow it to fund more scholarships and skills training programs for the youth, especially in the provinces.
According to most of the congressmen who attended the budget hearing, the scholarship program of TESDA is laudable but the only problem is that it has limited budget.
Aside from the TWSP, the other major programs of TESDA will get P200 million for Private Education Student Financial Assistance; P336.647 million for Special Training for Employment Program; and P711.39 million for Bottom-Up Budgeting.
The TESDA budget was divided into P1.43 billion for personnel services, P4.66 billion for maintenance and other operating expenses, and P299.87 million for capital outlay. END