TESDA prioritizes displaced Boracay workers

MANILA The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Region 6 is prioritizing the displaced workers in Boracay by providing training opportunities to help them find alternative jobs or upgrade their skills.

The government has closed Boracay for tourism for six months starting Thursday. The period will be used for the island's environmental rehabilitation.

Aklan Provincial Director Joel Villagracia told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday that TESDA-6 targets to provide 5,500 slots for training scholarships within the six-month period. Starting April 26 to June, TESDA will provide 1,500 training slots, and 2,000 slots for July and another 2,000 in August, he added.

"We want them to gain alternative skills for employment. For example, if the beneficiary is a waiter and the job is currently unavailable (due to Boracay closure), perhaps he could try to apply as a carpenter or welder if these are available, and we provide training for these," he explained.

Villagracia explained that the alternative skills could either help the beneficiaries to look for other jobs, or prepare them for the reopening of jobs as soon as Boracay reopens for tourism.

"Training could also help them upgrade their skills. Waiters, food and beverage attendants, for instance, who would like to work on a cruise ship, would need a retraining," he added.

The provincial director said TESDA's "Action Plan Save Boracay", which started on Thursday, is successful. The action plan is TESDA's strategy to provide more training slots for the displaced workers in Boracay.

"There were many who have applied for the slots today," he said Thursday. He added TESDA had already filled up 126 slots even before the Boracay closure, and as of Thursday, 800 slots are available.

Villagracia said to accommodate the displaced workers, TESDA had rolled out 12 mobile skills training facilities. Currently, there are 22 training centers in Aklan, according to him.

"We provide the applicants or beneficiaries with a wide array of training options they could use in different sectors, such as health and wellness, tourism, and construction. Among the courses we provide are masonry, cookery, massage therapist, carpentry, and many more," Villagracia said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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