FORMER Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Joel Villanueva gave assurances that fresh graduates can find jobs in the tourism industry.
“Ang turismo ay trabaho. Kung maraming turista, maraming trabaho (Tourism means work. If there are plenty of tourists, there will be plenty of jobs),” Villanueva, who is running for senator, told 371 graduates of the Far Eastern University-Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management who recently received their National Certificate II in various qualifications in the tourism sector.
“One tourist equals one opportunity. When the United Nations celebrated the World Tourism Day last September 27, the theme is One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities to show that tourism is all about opportunities… that tourism sector is huge,” the former Tesda chief added.
The graduates received their NC II either in Food and Beverage Services, Bread and Pastry Production, Housekeeping, Cookery and Bartending.
Villanueva said he had no doubt that Tesda personnel will continue to make the agency more relevant to the technical vocational students.
“We have seen progress in the Mutual Recognition Arrangements for Tourism Professionals,” he said.
“The challenge is to pursue the benchmarking of tourism qualifications to national and international standards,” he added.
At least 10 percent of the labor force in the Philippines is in the tourism industry.
The government is targeting 10 million foreign tourist arrivals next year.
To buoy up the sector, Villanueva said Tesda should continue to ensure world-class training for the students. The agency should also strengthen the practice of the Dual Training System or apprenticeship, which would give the trainees hands-on experience in the workplace while studying.