The Philippine Star

From skills devel­op­ment to job op­por­tu­ni­ties

- Cebu City · Mitsubishi Group · Ocampo · Manila · Salesians of Don Bosco · Philippines

The Don Bosco Tech­ni­cal Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Cen­ter – Balam­ban Inc. in Cebu said that skill align­ment is vi­tal in match­ing the com­pe­ten­cies of its youth trainees with jobs rel­e­vant to in­dus­try needs.

The com­pany has found a like­minded part­ner in In­ter­na­tional El­e­va­tor & Equip­ment Inc. (IEE), a group com­pany of Mit­subishi Elec­tric Corp. – one of the lead­ing world­wide man­u­fac­tur­ers of elec­tri­cal and elec­tronic prod­ucts, to sup­port its vi­sion.

Don Bosco TVET Cen­ter - Balam­ban and IEE re­cently for­mal­ized their part­ner­ship to help out-ofs­chool Filipino youth reach their dreams of bet­ter fu­tures.

Their part­ner­ship hap­pened by chance, dur­ing one fate­ful con­ver­sa­tion be­tween cen­ter di­rec­tor Fr. Brian R. Bu­tanas and IEE pres­i­dent Ra­moncito Ocampo. With a pas­sion for ed­u­cat­ing the youth as a true blue Bosco­nian teacher him­self, Fr. Bu­tanas shared about the Balam­ban Cen­ter’s tech­no­log­i­cal and vo­ca­tional cour­ses that aimed to pro­mote values for­ma­tion among un­der­priv­i­leged youth.

The pro­gram served as an av­enue for skills learn­ing and devel­op­ment, and at the same time, gave stu­dents the em­pow­er­ment they needed to trans­form their lives.

“Mr. Ocampo saw this as an op­por­tu­nity to sup­ply its needs for skilled work­ers. He asked me if they can be a part of this pro­gram by help­ing pro­vide jobs for the grad­u­ates. In the be­gin­ning, we sent at least eight of our trainees and they were de­ployed here in Manila. IEE has since been a fa­vored em­ployer rec­om­mended by our alumni. They pro­vide em­ploy­ees with proper com­pen­sa­tions and ben­e­fits, as well as a safe work­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” Fr. Bu­tanas said.

Fr. Bu­tanas said that for the cen­ter’s ben­e­fits to be sus­tain­able, there have al­ways been a con­stant ef­fort to up­date its pro­grams and course of­fer­ings ac­cord­ing to cur­rent in­dus­try de­mands.

“We al­ways have this con­stant di­a­logue with the in­dus­try. We mon­i­tor the types of skills that are in de­mand and these should co­in­cide with what we teach our stu­dents,” Fr Bu­tanas said.

The pi­o­neer­ing Sale­sians of Don Bosco es­tab­lished in the Philip­pines in the early ’50s with the mis­sion of strength­en­ing St. John Bosco’s com­mit­ment to give hope through de­cent em­ploy­ment. To­day, it spans a net­work of cen­ters in the greater Manila area and other key cities in the Visayas and Min­danao re­gions.

Don Bosco TVET Cen­ter Balam­ban in Cebu cur­rently ed­u­cates more than 120 trainees a year. It of­fers Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (TESDA) – ac­cred­ited cour­ses such as shielded me­tal arc weld­ing, gas me­tal arc Weld­ing gas tung­sten arc Weld­ing, flux-corded arc weld­ing, gas weld­ing driv­ing and elec­tri­cal tech­nol­ogy.

The train­ings usu­ally ex­tend from six, eight and ten months. To help mo­ti­vate and en­sure that the trainees will com­plete the whole du­ra­tion of their stud­ies, a dor­mi­tory was added to the cen­ter for their lodg­ing.

To help ad­dress the fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties faced by the trainees, the Don Bosco TVET Cen­ter Balam­ban also em­ploys a “study now, pay when able” scheme.

“It is also one of the rea­sons why IEE is such a good ally, be­cause the mo­ment the grad­u­ates get a job, they are able to pay the pro­grams they have un­der­gone and sup­port other stu­dents in the cen­ter in how­ever way they can con­trib­ute. They’re giv­ing back to us and we’re mold­ing gen­er­ous hearts. We let them know that even though they don’t have a lot in life when they be­gan their train­ing, they can build a bet­ter one now and help oth­ers do the same,” Fr. Bu­tanas said.

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