MANILA, Philippines - The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is giving the out-of-school youths (OSY) another crack at education and improve their chances of landing a job or starting a business of their own.
According to TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, the training program and employment opportunities for 7,000 OSYs is in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The two government agencies merged two of their major programs -TESDA's Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and DOLE's Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES)-to boost to technical vocational training by making it within reach of young students who could not continue their studies because of poverty.
"This is giving a second chance to the young people who are not in education," Villanueva said. "We want to offer them an alternative education so they would have the skills they need to get ready for work."
Villanueva said the applicants will be selected from 300 to 400 poorest municipalities in the country that were identified by the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster composed of heads of various government departments and agencies. The program is covered by a joint circular between TESDA and DOLE signed by Villanueva and Lourdes Trasmonte, DOLE Undersecretary for labor standards and social protection.
"The TWSP-SPES program is open to applicants between 15 and 25 years of age, who have reached at least high school level and have received an average passing grade during the last school term attended," Villanueva said.
He added that the OSY must be a first-time applicant of the TESDA scholarship program. "Since it is focused on servicing the marginalized families, the combined net income after tax payments of the applicant's parents, including his or her income, if any, must not exceed the latest annual regional poverty threshold level for a family of six as determined by the National Economic Development Authority," he added.