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TESDA La Union says the future is in tech-voc

Have you ever wondered why children and the youth would always say that they want to be doctors, lawyers or engineers and not technicians and plumbers when you ask them about what they want to be when they grow up?

In the Philippines, the common perception is that a bachelor’s degree is the surest way to a future of success and to getting high-paying jobs.

While thinking of getting a bachelor’s degree and working at an air-conditioned room in front of a computer is perfectly understandable, it should not take away from efforts to improve the technical-vocational (tech-voc) system of education in our country.

For people who are still unsure about a career in tech-voc, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) La Union says that tech-voc graduates earn as much as those with college degrees and even higher sometimes, especially when working abroad where tech-voc skills are in high demand.

Imbalance in labor and supply

One of the persisting problems noted in Northern Luzon, and the country as a whole, is the imbalance between the skills of graduates entering the world of work to the skills required by employers through their job openings.

TESDA La Union Provincial Director Ruth E. Dayawen says that because graduates are unable to fill vacancies due to their skills not matching with existing job openings, their employability decrease which thereafter leads to a high unemployment rate.

It is with this imbalance that Director Dayawen encourages the youth in La Union, especially those still pondering upon courses to take, to consider enrolling under the TESDA’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Inaanyayahan ko ang mga magulang na i-consider and TVET para sa kanilang mga anak dahil mayroong mga pag-aaral na nagpapakita na ang mga tech-voc graduates ay mas nauunang nakakakuha ng trabaho kumpara sa ibang kumukuha ng college degrees,” Director Dawayen said.

TESDA La Union Provincial Director Ruth E. Dayawen says that a career in TVET gives people an equal chance of succeeding as with college graduates.

Director Dayawen added that considering TVET can be a solution to the high dropout rate recorded for college students as enrolling in tech-voc has historically been proven effective in lessening dropouts due to TVET courses being faster to complete.

The Director further added that TESDA programs such as the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) addresses the skills mismatch of workers by addressing their skills needs through self-employment, entrepreneurial and service-oriented activities.

The STEP is just one of the many programs of the TESDA, along with their many scholarship grants, to encourage the youth to choose a tech-voc career and improve their employability.

La Union Provincial PESO Manager, Ms. Charito Dator says that they have been doing career guidance activities to students in order for the latter to choose courses commensurate to the needs of employers in the province and increase the province's employment rate as a result.

Career guidance improves employability

La Union Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager Charito C. Dator meanwhile said that the province has been coordinating with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 1 in order to guide the youth to track their path through education as their contribution to alleviating the problem of job mismatch.

Ms. Dator said that the provincial office implements the Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP) with the assistance of DOLE to help students track their path through the different schools offering courses in La Union.

Kami ay nakikipagtulungan sa DOLE sa pamamagitan ng CGAP sa mga eskwelahan dito sa La Union upang matulungan ang ating mga kabataang magkaroon ng kakayahan na angkop sa mga trabahong maaari nilang pasukan dito sa probinsya,” Ms. Dator said.

Technology favors tech-voc graduates

Employers in technology firms value tech-voc graduates just as much as college graduates, as technicians in high-technology firms are just as in-demand as engineers.

As the TESDA plots a tech-voc dominated future in La Union, the agency seeks support from different sectors and other incentives for the tech-voc track to be a viable option for students and the youth as a whole, to consider their desire to have rewarding careers.

Unlike developed countries, Director Dayawen said that there is still a lack of enrollment in schools offering tech-voc courses in the Philippines and because of it, there is a looming threat for tech-voc institutions to permanently stop its operations.

To address the concern, Director Dayawen said that the TESDA La Union has been facilitating partnership with different stakeholders to increase tech-voc enrollment and has also been doing regular monitoring in order to help tech-voc schools compete for enrollees with other schools offering degree courses.

Towards the goal of advocating for tech-voc courses and creating a productive future for the youth, Director Dayawen underscored the importance of advocating for TVET across all platforms for the greater mass in La Union to appreciate and become partners in supporting the advocacies of the TESDA.

Kaya kailangan namin ng inyong tulong [media] upang maintidihan ng mga tao ang ating mga tech-voc courses at para kanilang malaman na ang mga kursong ating inaalok ay magbibigay sa kanila ng mabuting kinabukasan,” Director Dayawen said.(JCR/CCT, PIA La Union)

High-technology firms value tech-voc graduates just as much as engineers according to the TESDA La Union, giving the former a chance to craft a rewarding career using the TVET track.

About the Author

Chester Trinidad

Information Officer III

Region 1

Chester Carlo M. Trinidad is the Information Center Manager of PIA La Union. 

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