Employed workers aiming to expand skills can avail TVET programs

Employed workers who intend to develop and expand their current skills and training can avail of assistance through a fund established to provide free access to technical-vocational education and training (TVET) programs.

Signed into law last February, Republic Act (RA) No. 11230, or the Act Instituting a Philippine Labor Force Competencies Competitiveness Program and Free Access to TVET, sets up the Tulong-Trabaho Fund which gives free training fees and additional financial aid, such as transportation allowances of qualified beneficiaries enrolling in selected training programs (STPs).

RA 11230, also known Tulong-Trabaho Act, provides that all costs to be incurred in undergoing assessment and certification, issuance of national certificates and other documents, administrative and all other procedures required for the completion of the TVET programs under the STPs shall be free of charge to qualified recipients.

Existing workers in enterprise-based companies or industries currently trained by their employers shall be excluded from the coverage of the Act.

Also qualified to avail of assistance from the Tulong Trabaho Fund are individuals at least 15 years of age who are not employed, not in education, and not in training (NEET).

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Board, which oversees the fund, shall approve the final list of STPs eligible to receive funding from the Tulong Trabaho Fund based on the initial recommendation of the TESDA Secretariat.

STPs may be school-based, center-based, community-based, enterprise-based or web-based programs.

The STPs shall initially be determined based on the latest issuances of labor market intelligence reports, quantitative and qualitative data on employment opportunities to be provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and quantitative and qualitative data on jobs and skills matching, among others.

This, as the Tulong-Trabaho Act aims to provide for more innovative approaches to TVET linked to the requirement of industry to primarily address unemployment and job-skill mismatch.

It also seeks to strengthen the qualifications of the Filipino workforce to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving workplaces and work structures.

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