By Roche Angon, National Project Coordinator for ILO
MDG Fund Joint Programme on Alternatives to Migration: Decent Work for Filipino Youth
The Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) confirmed the 2nd batch of 250 disadvantaged youth as graduates of labour market-responsive technical vocational skills training in Masbate on May 4. To date, a total of 500 disadvantaged youth completed the 13 training courses offered by TESDA its accredited 11 technical vocational institutions in the province.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) in partnership with TESDA and Provincial Local Government of Masbate implemented the labour market-responsive technical vocational skills training in Masbate. This was made possible through the support of Spanish funded Millennium Development Goal Fund (MDG F) Joint Programme on Alternatives to Migration: Decent Work for Filipino Youth. ILO also commissioned a study “Assessment of Technical Vocational Skills and Education of Disadvantaged Youth in Masbate, Antique, Maguindanao and Agusan del Sur” which served as basis to design a labour market-responsive technical vocational skills training program.
Training graduates completed their on-the-job training with private sector partners who forged partnership with TESDA and technical vocational institutions to provide on-the-job training to the youth. Under the Joint Programme, the mandatory on-the-job training is one of the value-added features of technical vocational skills training over the regular training programs of TESDA.
Other value-added features are mandatory profiling of training graduates, mandatory three-day gender sensitivity training, partnership agreements entered into by public and private sector partners to accommodate on-the-job training of youth, provision of training support fund while undergoing training, and subsistence allowance for the on-the-job training.
“The value-added features make the technical vocational skills training under the Joint Programme different from TESDA’s regular training programs of TESDA which help increase the employability of training graduates” according to Ms Mildred Marcaida, Provincial Director of TESDA in Masbate. TESDA plans to incorporate these features, particularly mandatory on-the-job training, and mandatory profiling and institutionalize partnership agreements into its regular training programs.
To increase their access to employment opportunities, TESDA provides post training services to training graduates in collaboration with public and private partners. These include competency assessment for the issuance of National Certification (NC) to help them land employment, provision of start-up kits to NC holders who will venture into community-based enterprises, pre-employment seminar for those who will opt for wage employment, and job bridging to link with potential employers.
Masbate is the first province to achieve the target number of youth trained in technical vocational skills among the four pilot provinces of the Joint Programme. It registers the highest employment rate of graduates at 30 per cent from the 1st batch of trainees who completed the training in February as of to date. All of them gained employment in the province.
Excel Conde, a 20-year old, training graduate of Computer Hardware Servicing with 2nd level National Certification, immediately got a job in a private enterprise in Masbate. It is the same enterprise that extended the on-the-job training. Along with other training graduates, she received post training services from the Provincial Office of TESDA in Masbate.
TESDA aims to attain a minimum employment rate of youth graduates at 55 per cent within the 6-month job search period.
The ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network (ASEAN-OSHNET) in collaboration with the ILO/ Korea Partnership Programme organized a ‘Training-of-Trainers’ Workshop on Risk Assessment, Control and Management: Key Components of an Occupational Safety and Health Management System between the 10th and 12th of February 2015.
The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of authorities and social partners in the key components of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) systems to ensure that workers across the region enjoy and healthy and safe workplace. The attendees of the workshop included tripartite representatives from government and workers’ and employers’ organizations from the 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam) as well as Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. The participants shared their experiences and best practices in risk assessment, control and management measures also focusing on OSH in small and medium enterprises, vulnerable employment and the informal economy.
Occupational Safety and Health systems not only have a direct effect on workers but also on the economy as a whole. ‘By taking a close look at working conditions and productivity, we also contribute to the goal of reducing poverty and achieving sustainable and inclusive growth in the region’ said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.
The need for increasing efforts in strengthening OSH systems was also stressed by Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The Secretary stated that ‘the conduct of this trainers’ workshop comes at a most auspicious time as it will address the need to intensify the advocacy to have a safe and healthy working environment not only in our respective countries but in in entire ASEAN region including our pacific island partners of Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea’
Since its founding, the ILO has been committed to promoting and supporting Occupational Safety and Health. The ILO Country Office for the Philippines has been working with the government to enhance the labour inspection system and with workers’ and employers’ organizations to build the capacity to deliver OSH services to their members. The ILO has also ensured integration of safety and health into other initiatives such as skills development, enterprise development and post-disaster response.