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June 10, 2013

Isuzu-TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Center Continues to Provide Access to a Brighter Future

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-run Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban, Leyte that is funded by Isuzu Motors Limited (IML) of Japan is continuing its mission to improve the lives of underprivileged but deserving out-of-school youths by providing them with education needed to gain employment.

Inaugurated in 2008, the training center is a project that forms part of IML’s “Heart and Smile” corporate social responsibility campaign. Apart from providing financial support, IML also supplies technical requirements essential to an automotive education course such as training materials, program modules, practical applications and other skills enhancement tools.

Another valuable partner in offering qualified youths quality subsidized technical education at the training center is World Vision, an international, Christian, humanitarian, development and advocacy organization. Working in the Philippines for 55 years now, World Vision assists over 105,000 sponsored children by providing education support, basic healthcare and livelihood opportunities for families belonging to some of the poorest communities in the country.

The training center, which aims to be the prime source for a competent and productive workforce, also seeks to develop technical-vocational trainers. It provides competency-based training programs that address labor market needs locally and abroad, as well as supply trainers in the Visayas region.

“With the pooled assistance of TESDA, World Vision and Isuzu, as well as the efforts of the trainees and trainers, this center is now a well-known training facility,” said IML Senior Counselor Yoshinori Ida. Graduates of the two-year course earn TESDA’s NC4 certification, which is the highest automotive servicing qualification in the Philippines. At present, there are a total of 201 trainees who have undergone and are currently undergoing NC1 to NC4 training at the center.

Last May 9, 17 trainees have successfully completed their course and have graduated from the center. This brings to 117 the total number of graduates since the training center started accepting trainees in 2008. The latest graduates belong to the sixth batch that entered the program.

Emerging as the top trainee among the new graduates were 20-year-old Gerald Surio, who was cited with honorable mention, and 22-year-old Michael Dalangin, salutatorian. Named as Batch 6’s valedictorian was 22-year-old Charlie Belano.

Belano, who hails from Calbayog City in Samar, is a son of a fisherman and is the youngest among nine children. More than two years ago, he passed the automotive course’s evaluation process when representatives of the program came searching for candidates in the fishing village where he lives. Belano is now an intern at Isuzu Alabang.

“Before I came here I did not know anything about automotives, and I did not know what my future is going to be like,” Belano said in his graduation speech. “But after two years of studying and intensive training, I gained a lot of knowledge and skills, which I can use not only to have a brighter future for myself but also to uplift the status of living of my family.”

As the sixth batch of trainees graduated from the training center, 18 new trainees entered, making up the program’s 10th batch.

“Every six months we come together to witness several events which highlight the operations of the Auto Mechanic Training Center,” said TESDA Acting Regional Director Cleta Omega. “First is to welcome the new batch of scholars [Batch 10]—there are 18 of them. Second is to recognize the outstanding performances of the ongoing scholars [Batches 7, 8 and 9], and third is the graduation ceremony of the 17 scholars from Batch 6.”

During the graduation rites for Batch 6 trainees and a welcome ceremony for the Batch 10 trainees, all the trainees displayed the technical skills they have acquired in the latest NC level they took. The trainees also highlighted their use of technical or service manuals, as well as their decision-making skills in the parts inspection and testing sections of their training program

“I commend you all for your perseverance in going this far,” World Vision Development Foundation Operations Director Mercy Catoera told the successful scholars during their graduation. “Life is not easy, especially if we are financially challenged. This is the reason why you should value the assistance Isuzu Motors Limited has provided, along with the various ways TESDA and World Vision have extended to make this Auto Mechanic Training Center a success.”

Currently, the graduates are working at Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), Isuzu Autoparts Manufacturing Corp. (IAMC) and various Isuzu dealerships. Isuzu, however, is not the only place where the graduates of the training center can find employment in. IPC encourages its affiliates, suppliers, bus companies, other local service shops as well as overseas companies to also hire the young auto technicians. One of the goals of the training center is to uplift the quality of automotive education in the Philippines for the benefit of the local car industry in general and not just Isuzu.

Isuzu Philippines Corporation and Isuzu Autoparts Manufacturing Corporation, both representing Isuzu Motors Limited, are actively supporting the project since it was launched in 2008.

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