Free tech-voc education not only limited to high school graduates

MANILA-- Technical and vocational training or tech-voc is not only limited to high-school graduates who are incapable to go to college but is also open to unemployed Filipinos and workers who seek to enhance their respective skills.

This statement was made by Sen. Joel Villanueva a day after tackling his measure that seeks to provide free access to programs and training of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Villanueva, former TESDA chair, earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1318 or the "Tulong Trabaho Act of 2017" which is meant to give access to tech-voc training and strengthen existing TESDA programs to ensure gainful employment.

The neophyte senator, who is also chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development clarified that it is wide in scope to allow more people to find decent jobs and not solely towards education or finishing a degree.

He pointed out that it is also expected to provide training and technical knowledge with a view to a definitive job market or livelihood requirement need.

"This bill seeks to ensure that not only high school graduates or those eligible for SUCs (state universities and colleges) will be provided financial assistance, but all Filipinos with potential for gainful and sustainable employment and livelihood," Villanueva said.

"We want to help people find decent jobs, especially those who are financially incapable to enroll in tertiary education, to acquire skills and easily find work," he added.

He further said that through his measure, the needed skills in the market are determined and addressed through skills training and will also help reduce jobs-skills mismatch.

His measure seeks to establish a Tulong Trabaho Fund that will ensure financial assistance for the qualified applicants. This fund will be included in the budget of TESDA.

The Tulong Trabaho bill is consistent and expands the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education or the UniFAST Act of 2015 which is already existing for the purposes of secondary education.

"This bill actually opens up the financial assistance to persons other than high school graduates, and can also include persons employed in the informal economy or informal job market. This then opens up the opportunity for them to expand their skill set and improve their present employment situation, as well," the senator said.

"We want to ensure that through the implementation and institutionalization of this program, our people would have just and fair access to opportunities that will alleviate them from poverty," he added.

Villanueva said that qualified applicants will be accepted based on criteria determined by the Tulong Trabaho Board headed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. These would include income, level of education, and other standards for these training programs.

The determination of the programs that will be offered will be based on the Labor Market Intelligence Reports, quantitative data of the National Economic and Development Authority and Department of Labor and Employment, and definitive job data to be able to truly meet the demands of the job market. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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