Skills Olympics in La Union

A skills show by local skilled workers and technicians highlighted this year's foundation anniversary of the province of La Union early this month. The northern Luzon province is now 163 years old.

The 4th La Union Tech-Voc Skills Olympics was staged at the Ortega Sports Center in San Fernando City last March 5. A total of 53 universities, colleges, and institutions which are members of the Association of Tech-Voc Institutes of La Union (ATVILU), participated in the skills event.

Now on its fourth year, the skills tilt was organized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) headed by provincial director Marissa T. Alcantara and ATVILU led by its president, Engr. Antonio Alvarado.

According to Alcantara, the competition serves as a venue for local skilled and certified workers to showcase their capabilities and work talents that will help ensure their employability. This year's tilt covered 13 trade areas from computer hardware servicing to hotel and restaurant services.

WINNING SCHOOLS

The La Union Christian Comprehensive College (LUCCC) emerged as the first grand slam winner after winning a gold medal each in Cake Decoration, Cocktail Mixing, Waitering, Bed Making, and Buffet Table Skirting as well as a bronze medal in Commercial Cooking.

The other trade skills champion schools are the Corazon Ortega Skills Training (Beauty Care and Hair Dressing), Philippine Central College of Science and Technology (Computer Hardware Servicing), National College of Science and Technology (Consumer Electronics), and South Ilocandia College of Arts and Trades (Electrical Installation and Maintenance).

Meanwhile, AMA Computer College topped the Web Page Design competition while Union Christian College ranked first place in Commercial Cooking. The International Spiritual Material Therapeutic and Massage-SFCLUI earned the highest score in Massage Therapy category.

All competition winners received their trophies, medals, and certificates from provincial board member Pepe Ortega who gave a short speech on the important role of tech-voc institutions in the training and development of Filipino workers for the global labor market.

The participation of tech-voc schools and institutions in the annual skills tilt is an indication of the growing interest of young people, skilled workers, parents, and school administrators in vocational education and training.

PRIVATE SECTOR-LED CONTESTS

Skills competitions, also popularly called skills olympics, are promotional tools to raise the status of skills and vocational education and inspire the young people to take up careers as skilled workers and technicians. TESDA is mandated to promote quality skills development in the country through the organization and conduct of an annual national skills olympics.

To fulfill this mandate, TESDA seeks the active participation of private industries, local governments, and technical and vocational school associations in the conduct of provincial, regional, and national skills competitions.

In November last year, The Philippines' Team Manggagawang Pilipino competed for the second time in the 9th ASEAN Skills Competition (ASC) in Jakarta, Indonesia but failed to regain its place as a top contender. The country did not have a competition team in the last three ASCs since 2006.

Pristine Joyce de Guzman of Pasay City, the lone medal winner in the Philippine team, won a bronze in Fashion Technology. Four other competitors won a medallion of excellence each for exceeding the 500 points score under the Competition Information System (CIS) marking scale.

Gold winners in the ASC will be fielded by their home countries in the 42nd World Skills Competitions (WSC) in Leipzig, Germany in July.

Through these competitions, TESDA hopes to raise awareness on the various opportunities in the skilled professions, and encourage more people to explore a career in skilled trades and high technology.

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