GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Education advocacy group Philippine Business for Education (PBED) is targeting to train and open work opportunities to at least 2,000 out-of-school youths here in the next five years through its workforce development project dubbed YouthWorks PH.
Karol Mark Yee, YouthWorks PH chief of party, said Tuesday they are set to start in June the full implementation of the project, which mainly aims to provide work-based training programs to local youths.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), he said the initiative intends to assist the beneficiaries in getting stable employment and at the same time address the need for skilled workers of local industries.
He said the project will cater to youths aged 18 to 24 who are out of school, training and employment.
Under the initiative, Yee said the selected beneficiaries will undergo "hands-on" technical-vocational trainings for three to six months in local companies and industries.
He said the beneficiaries will receive living allowances equivalent to 75 percent of the minimum wage, which is currently set at P311 per day in Region 12, for the duration of their training.
"We will link our trainees to local companies and industries, where they will get skills trainings and possibly gain permanent employment later on," he said in a forum.
Yee said they have partnered with the city government and the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. for the rollout of the work-based trainings.
He said they also tapped scholarship opportunities being offered by the government through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
As part of their initial preparations, Yee said they approached and engaged with several companies and industries here.
"We're telling them, do you want to help us train the youths? Help those who can really meet the needs of your company so that you can employ them and also get the skilled work that you need," he said.
Yee said they will start in June the provision of life skills trainings focusing on personal development to the prospective beneficiaries.
He said they have scheduled a career caravan in August wherein qualified youths may already start applying for work-based training positions.
Launched by PBED and USAID in June last year, YouthWorks PH is a P1.7-billion project that “aims to make education and training more responsive to the needs of the economy by working with the government, industry, and academe to provide opportunities to youths not in education, employment or training.”
The five-year project has selected the city as among its seven priority areas, along with the Greater Manila area and the cities of Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.