Upskilling of workers to continue amid pandemic, TESDA assures 

Taguig City – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has assured that upskilling and retooling of workers will continue amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS), particularly TESDA to ensure the upskilling of the employees, including the returning overseas workers.

“I expect the task force to work double time not only to recoup job losses, but more importantly to rehabilitate the economy and help our hardest hit sectors,” Duterte said.

In line with this, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña, who is also the Co-Chair of the NERS, vowed that the agency will continue prioritizing the upskilling and retooling of workers especially those who were displaced by COVID-19 pandemic.

“In TESDA, we have scholarship programs that will address skills gaps and increase employability of Filipino workers. We will continue to be more accessible to our target clients, as embodied in our guiding principle, ‘TESDA Abot Lahat’,” he said.

Due to the travel restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, TESDA has strengthened its online program, the TESDA Online Program (TOP) and has launched “TESDA Abot Lahat ang OFWs” program.

From March 2020 to June 2021, some 1,632,168 have already registered in the TOP. This brought the total accumulated users since 2012 at 3,068,775.

Currently, the TOP offers 103 online courses from different industry sectors such as Health Care, Tourism, Agriculture, and Electronics, among others. Courses with the biggest number of enrollees include “Practicing COVID-19 Preventive Measures in the Workplace,” “Preparing Cakes,” “Introduction to Food Processing” “Introduction to Computer Systems Servicing” and “Performing Proper Waste Management in the Workplace.”

Also, from January to June 2021, TESDA has produced 389, 767 graduates and certified 257, 273 individuals as skilled workers under its regular training programs.

Meanwhile, for repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), TESDA has trained 5,558 from January to June 2021, of which, 2,433 were already certified as skilled workers.

With this, Lapeña encouraged everyone to avail of the agency’s online courses and different scholarship programs to remain productive amid the mobility restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“I invite students and workers to try enrolling in our online classes and other scholarship programs. This is offered for free,” Lapeña said.