Message of support at the launch of the ILO and TESDA pilot training programme on domestic work

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the launch of the ILO TESDA pilot training programme on domestic work, 24 May 2021, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines via Zoom | 24 May 2021
  • Secretary Lapeña, Deputy-Director General Sarmienta and officials of TESDA
  • Executive Director Gloria of the Fair Training Center
  • Our partners from the government, workers and employers organizations,
  • Development partners and representatives from the diplomatic corps,
  • Representatives of the civil society, recruitment agencies, media and project partners,
  • Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga sa inyong lahat (good morning to all of you)!
Mabuhay and congratulations to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, or TESDA, for this momentous launch of the Blended Training Programme on Domestic Work.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines supports this pilot initiative.

For many years, we have been working closely with TESDA through various programmes and policies that benefit our Filipino constituents, including overseas Filipino workers.

In close collaboration with TESDA, the ILO implements a portfolio of skills development and employability projects in the Philippines, including the ILO-UK Prosperity Fund Skills Programme, the Industry Skills for Inclusive Growth, and the Women in STEM workforce readiness and development programme.

In addition, we also have skills components for our labour migration projects the Safe and Fair project on Realizing women migrant workers’ rights and opportunities, and the Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment (FAIR).

Specific to the ILO Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment, of the FAIR Project, TESDA has been an active member of the Project Advisory Committee. The committee continues to convene relevant migration stakeholders to discuss training-related challenges. These include training and assessment of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the domestic work sector during the pandemic.

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all economic sectors in the Philippines, including the migrants sector.

Since the start of the community quarantine in the Philippines, face-to-face training of prospective, OFWs particularly domestic workers, had been cancelled.

The regular in-person training is very important not only to enable trainees to pass the skills assessment, but also to fully prepare them for the work and life that await abroad.

It is because of these travel restrictions and close contact activities that ILO, together with TESDA and the Fair Training Center, have designed an alternative training model using a blended learning approach.

This mixed approach capitalizes on online training with a minimal in-person training component to maximize learning outcomes.

This training model will make use of a combination of self-paced learning, one-on-one and group coaching, and face-to-face demonstration and assessment activities. This training model also has the potential to test several assumptions on its benefits to trainees.

We hope that effective online training will translate to lower training cost, without sacrificing the quality of training and preparation for work and life abroad.

This initiative has the potential to increase chances of passing the NCII assessment, which will lead to faster processing of requirements especially for those living outside Metro Manila. Movement is quite limited for them due to existing quarantine restrictions.

Lastly, this model also has potential benefits to our duty-bearers particularly TESDA. This would allow more room for higher and easier ability to monitor training centre operations, and track workers. This is will also keep them safe by lowering risks of COVID-19 transmission due to the less number of days for face-to-face training. It would also decentralize training and assessment operations from Metro Manila to provinces where most of the workers originate.

As a pilot initiative, this training breakthrough thus provides both TESDA and the Fair Training Centre with some space to innovate, draw lessons from selected group of trainees, and present recommendations to incorporate good practices into future training programmes of TESDA.

Throughout this pilot phase, ILO will provide the required technical and financial assistance to ensure effective and efficient implementation.

Overall, this partnership will also contribute to achieving priorities under the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines, and building a better future of work through a human-centred recovery that puts people first like OFWs and domestic workers.

Once again, I would like to congratulate TESDA on this important pilot initiative that will showcase relevant and safe practices to address training in the midst of a global pandemic.

It is hoped that this milestone initiative will benefit not only prospective Filipino migrant workers but also the approach to developing training programmes using alternative delivery modes in the long run.

Thank you and my best wishes for the success of this pilot programme!