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50 Dabawenyo youths finish U.S. supported tech-voc training

DAVAO CITY – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has successfully supported 1,122 Filipino out-of-school youth (OSY) gain much-needed tech-voc training through the TESDA Online Program (TOP). Ninety-nine of these OSY are Dabawenyo youth, 50 of whom graduated in a ceremony held on Sept. 2 in Davao City.

Youth graduates took up courses on Housekeeping, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, as well as Barangay Health Services. Through the USAID Opportunity 2.0 program and the Youth Development Alliance established in the city, upskilled out-of-school youth will be connected to local businesses for jobs and to other organizations and offices for further education and entrepreneurship opportunities.

USAID was quick to collaborate with TESDA on restoring access to tech-voc training in safe and inclusive ways soon as the pandemic hit the Philippines in 2020. Modules were enhanced for distance learning, TESDA trainers were trained on using new teaching methods, and the OSY were lent tablets to access TOP modules. Community-based facilitators were also engaged to help the youth along the process, following local health and safety protocols.

This led to restoring upskilling opportunities for vulnerable youth who have been adversely affected by the restrictions brought about by COVID-19 protocols, giving them and their families an opportunity to also overcome economic difficulties in the New Normal.

To date, 637 youth have been issued with TESDA certifications, registering a remarkable 93 percent average certification rate on par with the national average. The initiative facilitates OSY’s access to TOP in 12 select cities across the country, particularly for those who are aged 15-24. Since its pilot in 2020, a total of 255 OSY have already successfully found new jobs, started their own business, or pursued further education.

“It is incredible how much we can achieve when actors come together, share resources, and help each other.  It always is amazing what the out-of-school youth can achieve if only given the appropriate and timely support,” said USAID Philippines Office of Education Director Dr. Thomas Leblanc. “This has been a success largely because of the spirit of young people. We hope that you will take all that you have learned with you when you go to apply for new jobs, pursue further training, continue with your studies, or start your own business. Soon, you too shall serve as an inspiration to others.” (TESDA-XI)


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Rudolph Ian Alama

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Region 11

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