Press Release
August 27, 2019

Villanueva urges TESDA to keep up with changing needs of labor market

Senator Joel Villanueva has challenged the technical-vocational sector to listen and adapt to the needs of the labor market so that students appreciate its value as they navigate their careers.

In a privilege speech on Tuesday, Villanueva outlined an action plan that tweaks the education and training systems to respond to the demands of the changing labor market which is gearing up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

He called on officials of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to embrace the challenge that lay ahead of the agency, particularly equipping trainees with skills which are in-demand in the job market.

"I challenge our Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) workers, especially our TESDA employees and officials who are present here today: Continue to pour your hearts out to the cause of TVET," said Villanueva, who chairs the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development. "I always believe that it all starts from aspiring higher and striving harder. We should take part in the struggle; all of us. Let us applaud the success of our Tech-Voc graduates because they bring us hope."

A former TESDA Secretary, Villanueva underscored the importance of linking training with the needs of industries, especially on qualifications "pertaining to the use of innovative or additive technologies."

He also asked tech-voc and education stakeholders to study and integrate enterprise-based training which gives students a more realistic understanding of the career path they intend to pursue once they finish their studies.

Villanueva said he plans to file a bill that incorporates the existing Enterprise-Based Training programs administered by TESDA and expands the provision of training programs being implemented within companies.

"We must focus training on science and innovation so that our graduates can keep up with workplace changes," the senator explained. "We can do this by creating more or helping our best TESDA Technology Institutions morph into centers of excellence and by recruiting trainors who understand industry, business, and the workplace."

The senator gave credit to partnership fostered by the agency with the private sector which has proven to be essential in attaining successes that TESDA enjoyed over the years.

He likewise highlighted the importance of web-based training in expanding access of people to TVET, saying it pins down the value of independent learning among Filipinos, which plants the seeds of lifelong learning.

"It will develop the skills required in our fast-becoming 'uber-economy' as manifested by the call center jobs and telecommuting or work-from-home setups," Villanueva said.

Villanueva's speech at the Senate floor commemorated the National Tech-Voc Day on Aug. 25, which fell on a Sunday this year. The senator pushed for the annual observance of the day, a special working holiday by virtue of Republic Act No. 10970, which also coincides with the founding date of TESDA as well.

Earlier in the day, Villanueva showcased a sampling of success stories featured by TESDA, which mounted an exhibit in celebration of National Tech-Voc day. The senator expressed gratitude to TESDA personnel for continuing to show the value of tech-voc as a viable, rewarding career path.

A TESDA-certified barista, Villanueva put the finishing touches to a cup of coffee that he served to incumbent TESDA Director General Isidro Lapena who came to the Senate to commemorate the National Tech-Voc Day.

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