The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) estimates that around 341,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have lost their jobs abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), for its part, is anticipating that about 300,000 OFWs will be returning home to the Philippines within this year.
So far, almost 52,000 OFWs have already returned or have been repatriated and more than 20,000 are expected to arrive before the end of this month.
“In addition to the health emergency, we are now also facing an employment crisis. We have to upgrade existing skills or learn new ones in order to face the new realities brought about by the pandemic.”
This, according to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Deputy Director-General John Bertiz III, who called on returning or repatriated OFWs to avail of 68 different free online courses offered by TESDA. Bertiz was previously a member of the House of Representatives representing ACTS-OFW Party-list.
While in quarantine, whether here or abroad, OFWs can take advantage of these free courses so they can improve on the jobs they currently do or get employed in a different field or start their own business. At least they will have additional options to choose from in this new, difficult and complicated world,” said Bertiz.
The former solon mentioned, “Under the TESDA Online Program (TOP), courses include food and beverages processing, production of bread, cake and pastry, salads, sweets, and other food dishes which have become in demand in the past few months.”
The new TESDA executive added, “Apart from these products, the courses are also intended to develop and improve skills on computer and electrical services, air-conditioned unit repair, massage therapy, web development, computer programming, and mobile application development.”
“For the complete list of and registration to TOP courses, OFWs can visit the TESDA website at https://www.e-tesda.gov.ph/course/,” Bertiz concluded.