Tesda official urges high school grads to take vocational courses

May 7, 2009 2:59 am 

CEBU CITY, May 6 – An official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Cebu has advised high school graduates to consider taking vocational courses, instead of pursuing a baccalaureate degree, to have more prospects of getting a job amid the global financial crisis.

A vocational degree will increase their skills and chances of getting a job in industries that demand them, said Tesda Cebu provincial director Buenafe Sta. Rita.

”They can pursue a four-year degree after their vocational studies, depending on the skills they have acquired, in order to enhance their capabilities,” she said.

She said there is a growing number of local and foreign companies with investments related to tourism and construction that are looking for people who have skills in welding, construction work, housekeeping, food and beverage preparation, bartending, front desk services, and tour-guiding, among others.

Sta. Rita, also Tesda 7 assistant regional director, said these are careers that high school graduates might want to consider as they take vocational courses that are being offered by colleges, universities and private training centers.

However, she lamented that many parents are still bent on taking their children straight to college right after high school graduation.

She attributed this to the “prestige” that parents feel if their children are college graduates.

Sta. Rita said several colleges and universities in Cebu have now recognized the importance of technical vocational education so they are taking a “paradigm shift” by offering ladderized education in some of their programs.

This government initiative allows vocational courses to be credited as units earned towards a related college degree program.

Some of the degree programs covered are hotel and restaurant management, nursing, marine engineering, marine transportation, information technology, technical teacher education, and agricultural technology.

In Cebu, colleges and universities offering ladderized education include University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu –Mandaue campus, University of Cebu main campus, University of the Visayas, Southwestern University, Benedicto College, and Salazar Institute of Technology.

Sta. Rita noted an “abrupt” popularity of technical vocational education as Tesda has intensified its campaign for the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship (PGS) program, formerly known as the PGMA Training for Workers Scholarship Program.

This year, Tesda 7 has an estimated budget of more than P300 million from the nationwide allocation of P5.6 billion for the program.

The budget is designed to provide scholarships to more than 4,000 qualified residents in the province.

To avail of the PGS program, one has to apply at the Tesda provincial office where he or she will undergo a career profiling assessment test.

The government will subsidize the enrollment fees of a scholar in a vocational course and provide him a P60 per day allowance. Displaced workers turned-scholars are given P133.50 a day.

”One’s chances of getting employed will be faster since many industries here and abroad demand for skilled workers,” said Sta. Rita.

Tesda is also organizing a Jobs Bridging Program on May 29 as Parkmall where industry players, academe and recruitment agency will meet in one venue to discuss the supply and demand of manpower and to hire applicants on the spot. (PNA) LDV/EB/re

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