Tesda to train thousands of former drug addicts

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Thousands of former drug dependents who surrendered and have been rehabilitated have been enrolled in the skills enhancement program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

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Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Director General Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong said on Tuesday that former drug addicts and their families, as well as persons with disabilities (PWDs) are part of the “Emergency Skills Training Program.” The program also welcomes overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), out-of-school youth, immediate relatives of policemen and soldiers who died in the line of duty, dependents of traffic enforcers, informal settlers and indigenous persons.

This is the first time that Tesda accepted former drug users.

Mamondiong said former drug dependents need assistance to help them get decent jobs.

The program will first be offered for free in Tesda training centers in the National Capital Region. However, all regional and provincial training centers including Tesda administered schools were directed to maintain a skeletal force to accept applicants to the training program starting May 1, 2017.

There are 25 slots for each course. Applicants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

The courses being offered are service engine mechanical components (12 days), carpentry (24 days), masonry (16 days), maintenance and repair of audio/video products and systems (30 days), and food processing by salting, curing and smoking (10 days).

Cookery, welding, plumbing, electrical installation maintenance, bus or truck driving, visual arts, programming and other training programs will be offered as well.

Trainings for different languages like Japanese (150 hours), English Proficiency for Customer Service Workers (100 hours), Arabic Language and Saudi Gulf Culture (100 hours), Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture (100 hours), Spanish Language for different vocations (100 hours), and Italian Language and Culture (150 hours) will also be offered.

The Emergency Skills Training Program is part of Tesda’s Special Training for Employment Program and Training for Work Scholarship Program.

Tesda Women Center chief Maria Clara Ignacio said the project is about providing “quick response training intervention for vulnerable groups.”

“This is about creating what we call new government, new citizens, and new hope,” she added.

Applicants should at least be 18 years old and a high school graduate. Those accepted will be given free starter tool kits, transportation allowance and food. Nelson S. Badilla

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