Cash for Training Program draws more youth into entrepreneurship

More youth are getting drawn into starting their own small business and are taking advantage of the free training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Youth beneficiaries enlisting for the Cash for Training Project (C4TP) for self-employment are twice as much as those enrolling for skills training so they could be employed.

Of the 16,620 youths undergoing training under the C4TP as of March 15, 2013, a total of 10,666 were enrolled in training for self-employment, while 5,954 are in wage-employment.

"Start-ups are getting attractive to our youths," Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA director general, said.

"They are setting sight to having their own business, which is the right path to sustainable development," Villanueva said.

TESDA in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) embarked on the C4TP early this year to offer a sustainable intervention to improve the plight of the poor youth and empower them through skills training and assistance for employment and entrepreneurial activities.

Aside from skills training opportunities, the project will also provide job facilitation and entrepreneurial support to the beneficiaries.

C4TP is being implemented with two independent components, namely, training for wage-employment (trabaho) and training for self-employment (hanapbuhay).

As part of the scholarship benefits, cost for training on entrepreneurship development is included specifically for those who opted the self-employment track so that their entrepreneurial capability will be developed, Villanueva said.

"Entrepreneurship is starting small, but with big impact," the TESDA chief said.

Villanueva added that tapping the entrepreneurial skills of the youth through training is also under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Plan for 2011 to 2016 under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

For the C4TP, TESDA and DSWD target a total of 65,730 beneficiaries from the country's 17 regions. Of this, a total of 59,544 have undergone career profiling by TESDA provincial/district offices implementing the project.

To beef up the capacity of TESDA in the delivery of entrepreneurship-related competencies, the agency will train 272 trainers more in addition to the existing pool of 116 trainers. This will strengthen the capacity not only of TESDA's own technology institutions but also the private institutions providing training for the youth beneficiaries.

"We are aiming for a higher employment rate among our graduates. With the assistance we are providing towards self-employment, we are very optimistic that our figures would rise," Villanueva said.

Part of the agency's plan is also to integrate entrepreneurship development as a core competency in all qualifications where self-employment could be an option for the graduates. This would enable TESDA to contribute not only in employment facilitation but also in the job creation thrust of the government.