Tesda: Time for paradigm shift for blue-collar workers

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) regional office called for a change in image among blue-collar workers, especially the construction workers.

“In the future, we will no longer call them construction workers but construction builders. If you are a builder, you are a proud, with high self-esteem, adept and proficient in your skill not only in one skill but sets of skills,” Tesda XI regional director Lorenzo Macapili told TIMES during the World Cafe of Opportunities event over the weekend.

Macapili added that this is to rebrand the workers in the construction industry especially amid the Build, Build, Build Program of the current administration.

“We are doing this because we want that the program of the current dispensation under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte will have to be put in place,” Macapili added.

Apart from technical skills, Macapili added that they also gear up on other skills for self-development of the workers.

These include capacity-building so that the builders will be “good in intra-personal skill, possess also the interpersonal skill, (the builders will not be) shy and can talk and work well with others,” Macapili said.

“We no longer want the notion that once you are a Technical-Vocational Education and Training (graduate), you are a second-class worker,” he added.

Macapili furthered that usually, the degree holders who have no skills will find a hard time in looking for a job enrolls in Tesda.

“It is only in the Philippines that even though you have finished for to five years in college, but you have not landed a job, you will instead enroll in Tech-Voc,” Macapili added.

Macapili said that this “reverse articulation” is a “waste of time, effort, and resources both of the parents and the government.”

Hence, the paradigm shift is now advocated not just by Tesda but also by the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.

The World Café of Opportunities also provided the arena for TVET who wants to venture into business since financing agencies like the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines.

“These financing agencies are for (TVET) graduates who are exploring for avenues where they can be assisted for small businesses as a startup,” Macapili added.

There were also TVET graduates who were able to avail for scholarships for skills upgrading.

Macapili expressed his positive impression to the turnout of the event especially that they envision to not just hold training but to provide further assistance to their graduates.

“In Tesda, our mandate is very clear is Technical Education and Skills Training. After training what comes next?” said Macapili.

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