Plenty of OFWs have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some of them are getting back on their feet, thanks to the Philippine government’s initiative. One of these is through TESDA programs that are providing them with more opportunities to learn new skills and get a new job or start a new business.
Opportunities for OFWs through TESDA
The TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) was mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte to find ways to help OFWs (overseas Filipino workers).
In his 2020 SONA (State of the Nation-Address), Duterte told TESDA to equip OFWs with new skills to find new opportunities both in the Philippines and outside the country.
With this mandate, the TESDA provided more training and workshops for OFWs to learn new skills and retool them for these new opportunities.
Just like other TESDA programs, the OFWs can avail themselves of free courses plus also get daily allowances for attending the classes.
Due to the pandemic, classes are being done with a mix of hands-on or face-to-face classes and online modules. But the good news is that the OFWs can use their newly acquired skills and certificates to apply for a new job.
Some of these OFWs are also using their new skills to open their own shops, bakeries, or other stores.
Former OFWs Rommellie Gaurana Torrefiel and Bryan Mark Gloria are among those who availed of TESDA’s free courses.
Torrefiel used to work as a teacher in Saudi but lost her job due to the pandemic. She enrolled in TESDA’s dressmaking classes and now hopes to open her own shop.
Gloria used to work as an electric supervisor in Qatar but while on vacation in the Philippines in 2020, he was caught in the COVID-19 lockdowns and was unable to return to work. He took a fiber optic course from TESDA and was able to find a job at a multinational telecom firm.
What Courses are Available on TESDA?
There are actually many different courses offered by TESDA or TESDA-accredited schools.
The following are some of the most popular ones that OFWs are availing of:
- Bread and Pastry Production NC II
- Cake, Bread and Pastry Making
- Caregiving I
- Caregiving NC II
- Domestic Work NC II
- Driving NC II