The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), through its youth employability partnership YouthWorks PH launched this week the recruitment for a distance learning and skills training program for unemployed out-of-school youth, in response to the need for flexible learning and employment opportunities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Flexible Training for Work or FTW program offers a four-month online training for youth who are aged 18-30, high school graduates or Grade 10 completers, and currently not in school, employment or technical vocational skills training.
Under FTW, a total of 3,000 youth from the Greater Manila Area, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga City and General Santos City will be assigned a mentor, who will take the lead in teaching online modules on communication, professionalism and leadership, critical thinking and interpersonal skills. The program will also include online modules from private sector partner Accenture that will teach employment readiness skills such as writing a resumé or preparing for an interview. Learning will be online and through regular chats and phone calls with the mentor, and eligible trainees will be provided learning devices and a monthly mobile data and communications allowance to participate. Compared to a face-to-face, formal education setup, trainees will only need a few hours of their day to talk to their mentors and accomplish weekly assignments.
Trainees under FTW will also have the opportunity to study technical vocational courses from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) online program, and those who wish to do on-the-job training will be paired with a YouthWorks PH partner company in their area. Completion certificates will be provided, and the project will also pay for the TESDA assessment fees of those who wish to receive a national certification.
“With Flexible Training for Work, YouthWorks PH aims to respond to the learning and employment needs of the youth who are negatively affected by the pandemic. In a quick survey we conducted last April, there was a significant increase in the rate of youth not in education, employment and training among those surveyed in our project areas. These are young Filipinos in need of learning opportunities, and we want to ensure that they are given access to programs that will help them become productive and eventually employed,” PBEd Executive Director and YouthWorks PH Chief of Party Lovelaine Basillote said.
The initial phase of the program will begin on June 22 and will be implemented in the Greater Manila Area and Zamboanga City for 600 trainees who are interested in food and beverage services training. The remaining 2,400 trainees for the nationwide rollout will start the program on August 10, and the program will open training opportunities in commercial cooking, bread and pastry production, refrigeration and air conditioning, and automotive servicing, among others.
YouthWorks PH is inviting eligible youth to register at pbed.ph/youthworksph-register.