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PIA Press Release

Gov't agencies urge new grads to try entrepreneurship, tek-bok skills upgrading

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (1 May) -- In effort to help newly graduates find jobs, government agencies are now focusing on encouraging and assisting newly grads on trying entrepreneurship or on upgrading their skills through technical or vocational skills courses.

During the Labor Day Jobs fair which was held May 1 and 2 at the Baguio Convention Center, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) offered entrepreneurial services to new graduates.

According to DOLE-CAR Director Ana Dione, they are focusing on offering entrepreneurial assistance to newly graduates who wants to try their hand on opening up their own businesses while looking for a job or while they are working.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also focusing on such programs. According to Ms. Bebot Regis of DTI-CAR, their department is also actively promoting entrepreneurship especially to students and fresh graduates.

"We are trying to change the mindset of the people, for them to be employing themselves and not to be independent nor rely on investors and employers," Regis said.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is also working on the same path. According to CHED Assistant Regional Director Ramon Santiago, in CAR alone, an average of 60,000 to 90,000 students are graduating every year.

Though CHED is actively partnering with the DOLE and other agencies in assisting these graduates in finding employment through jobs fair, it does not ensure that everybody will get a job, Santiago said.

He also stressed that they have been issuing department orders to higher educational institutions to provide business or entrepreneurial trainings to their students before graduation.

Santiago also urged students to take "Ladderized Program" courses. CHED in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), has a "Ladderized education program," wherein technical and vocational (Tek-Bok) courses are already embedded in a baccalaureate course.

According to Marlyn Necessito of TESDA-CAR, TEK-BOK is a viable options for employment and with the "Ladderized program," a student can take a college course together with a Tek-Bok course.

Necessito also advised the graduates, as well as those employed, underemployed or unemployed, that they can also rake Tek-Bok courses to upgrade their skills, which will be very useful for them, in gaining work abroad or employment promotions.

Baguio City Mayor Peter Rey Bautista agreed that Tek-Bok is a viable options for students to gain immediate employment. He said the City government, under his management has been investing P3 Million subsidy a year to a "Pamatasan ng Baguio," offering Tek-Bok courses, which is already being recognized as a "Center of Excellence for Tourism Services."

"The City Government of Baguio, together with the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship program, have already sponsored many scholars through this Pamantasan, which by 2013 will be fully devolved to the city government," Bautista said. (PIA) [top]

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