Published January 17, 2017, 10:00 PM by Myrna M. Velasco
Private transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) will channel P50-million funding over the next five years for skills enhancement and training program designed primarily for communities hosting its transmission lines and facilities.
On the celebration of the company’s 7th year of operations, NGCP inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the University of the Philippines (UP) for “skills camp” on training and job creation opportunities for targeted segments in the labor force.
The program formally kicks off February this year – with the scoping process now undertaken by UP – and will wind up in year 2020. The first batch of graduates will be up by September-October this year; and the outcome from that will be UP’s gauge in identifying the next batch of barangay-beneficiaries moving forward.
The pilot will cover 1,000 residents from seven (7) identified key areas proximate to the campuses of UP in Los Baños, Laguna; Davao, Iloilo and Tacloban in Leyte. NGCP President Henry T. Sy Jr. noted that among the “skills set” for mentoring by UP faculty members would be tasks and jobs related to the company’s operations of the country’s transmission networks and facilities.
“We wanted to make this project a reality because we recognize the lack of skilled workers in various industries, especially in construction,” he stressed.
Sy emphasized that “the lack of knowledge and work standards jeopardize their safety and the quality of work that they produce.”
UP President Alfredo E. Pascual said “we will assess where the employment needs are,” emphasizing that aside from construction, job creation would also be highly needed in “agriculture, agri-business, food processing, arts and crafts and other certain skills which involve entrepreneurship like management skills.”
He indicated that the skills camp would be a combination of mentoring and field training. “We have 5,000 faculty members, so we have many trainors we can mobilize depending on the skills needed.”
The transmission firm earmarked R50 million for the entire five years; and NGCP had identified targeted beneficiaries of about 155,000 residents in 29 communities. Of the figure, 62,000 individuals are in the labor market.
Based on the company’s number-crunching, it will be investing R20,000 per household “to achieve an end-goal of long-term increased employability and income project-beneficiaries.”
“On our part, we believe that right now, we start with UP because it is a low-lying fruit. If we improve our methods, we will expand… this is the fastest way of giving jobs to our people right now,” Sy stressed.
He raised hopes that NGCP will just be the trailblazer of such initiative; and that other companies in the country will also be pursuing parallel skills enhancement programs.