TESDA Ups Scholarship Fund to P2.6 B

With the influx of new jobs seen this year, the government is pumping a P2.6 billion in scholarship fund into various skills training programs.

The funds, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the country’s prime agency that promotes and implements technical vocational education and training, would benefit 263,900 youth with free education to prepare them get into the workforce.

From P1.4 billion in 2014, the fund for the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) has been upped to P2 billion this year.  This program targets to have a total of 210,526 scholars nationwide.

The Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) will get P440.7million to fund the training of 32,321 individuals.

The TWSP will be used to support rapid and sustained economic growth through course offerings to key employment generators.

Among these are in the areas of agri-fishery/agri-business/agro-industrial; tourism; information technology-business process management; semiconductor and electronics; automotives; general infrastructure; other priority manufacturing industries, logistics and new and emerging sectors.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said part of the training subsidy will also be used  for the micro, small and medium enterprises to undertake education to keep pace with the skills requirements and increase the productivity of workers, thereby creating competitive workforce and products.

STEP, meanwhile, is a community-based specialty training program that will address specific needs of the communities and promote employment, particularly, through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities.

A separate P200-million fund has also been allotted to another key TESDA program, the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) that will benefit over 20,000 high school graduates.

PESFA aims to extend financial assistance to marginalized but deserving students in tech-voc courses, and to assist private institutions in their development efforts by assuring a steady supply of enrollees to their course offerings.

“We have scholarship for the high school graduates, out-of-school youth, workers, and even professionals who want to learn new skills. We want to put them in good training positions so that when they graduate, they will be competitive in the workforce,” Villanueva said.

“This administration wants to leave a lasting legacy, something that will outlive all the funds poured in for the training,” he added.

The TESDA chief said that providing relevant skills training is also a key element to ensuring jobs for Filipinos, which would help sustain the economy.

The Asian Development Bank earlier said it sees a robust expansion of the Philippine economy in 2015, but noted that the people need sustainable jobs.

In a separate report, human resource expert Leo Gellor said that job hunters that have technical and behavioural competence will have the edge in getting hired.

Gellor urged the youth to gear up on necessary skills, competencies and set of behaviors appropriate for office situation

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