The Philippine Star
From skills development to job opportunities
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.