By Prince Golez
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) continues to prioritize women and empower them through skill training and job creation programs.
In a news release Wednesday, Director General Danilo Cruz said the agency has consistently provided women with skills training in non-traditional trades such as construction, welding, plumbing, and automotive servicing, among others.
“We consider women as priority clients when it comes to the provision of skills training. Through these programs, we reskill and upskill them to widen their employment opportunities here in the country,” according to Cruz.
Based on TESDA’s 2021 Study on the Employment of TVET Graduates, 78.81 percent or nearly 8 out of 10 female tech-voc graduates were employed, slightly higher than male graduates with 78.36%.
Meanwhile, the TESDA Women’s Center (TWC), the agency’s specialized training center for women, offers programs in traditionally male-dominated industrial courses.
The TWC has trained over 9,500 Filipino women since its inception in 1998.
“More than providing women with employable and marketable skills that build their capacities for wage and self-employment, our value-added training gives equal attention to the development of their character, so that the positive contributions of women to society are greatly enhanced,” the TESDA chief said.
The agency’s continuing thrust, he added, will help achieve the goals and targets of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, such as promoting entrepreneurship and economic opportunities for women, as well as lowering the risks faced by other vulnerable groups.
Through the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program and the iSTAR Program, TESDA also empowers women and overseas Filipino workers by providing entrepreneurial training.
Since pre-pandemic, the STAR program has been used continuously and has proven effective in reskilling distressed Filipino migrant workers in Bahay Kalinga shelters such as the one in Kuwait.
It has benefited over 250,000 women and OFWs so far. The implementation of the online iSTAR program has the potential to reach even more beneficiaries.