SMC, TESDA partner to start training Filipino workers for jobs at NMIA, other major projects

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are launching a skills training program that will enable a greater number of Filipinos to participate in opportunities at its New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project as well as its various strategic initiatives across the country.

SMC President Ramon S. Ang and TESDA Secretary and Director General Suharto T. Mangudadatu, signed a memorandum of agreement that expands their existing partnership to more provinces to maximize job and livelihood creation and ensure that the benefits of growth resulting from its projects are widespread and shared by many.

“This is a great opportunity for many of our countrymen. The airport project and all our other projects, will not just generate jobs; more significantly, they will provide knowledge, skills, and technology transfer in construction, engineering, the operation of equipment and technologies, ground handling, aircraft maintenance, and many other fields,” said Ang.

“This gives our people a chance to learn valuable and highly-specialized skills right here in our country, while earning a decent living, and helping our country’s growth and development. Later on, they can bring these skills with them for better opportunities abroad, or to continue working for us to operate and maintain our facilities,” he added.

Ang cited that at the moment, the company is already working with over a hundred foreign experts in various fields at the airport project, currently in the first phase of construction–land redevelopment, or the process of turning what was once land converted into fishponds, back into land form again.

Filipinos working at the site are already learning from these foreign experts, and may then be tapped to teach and pass on skills and knowledge to the next batches of workers to be trained by TESDA, and hired by SMC.

The SMC-TESDA partnership, which started in 2020, is now expanded to include Pangasinan, Laguna, and Palawan. Initially, the partnership covered residents of Bulacan, Bataan, Batangas, Quezon Province, General Santos City, South Cotabato, and Davao del Sur.

In most of the pilot areas, graduates of the SMC-TESDA program also benefited from housing assistance, that allowed families to build or buy new homes, or in the case of Sariaya, Quezon, resettle in an SMC-built free housing community.

The program, which began in Bulacan and extended to different provinces, initially offered courses in heavy equipment operations, shielded metal arc welding, entrepreneurship training, electrical installation and maintenance, dressmaking, baking, and cookery.

Ang said: “As we are expanding our businesses around the country, a fully-capable workforce is an essential ingredient to our success. We thank TESDA for their sincere support and tireless efforts in helping us equip more Filipinos to improve their lives and help the country in the process.”

The SMC-TESDA program is also geared towards benefitting displaced workers, returning Overseas Filipino Workers, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities, and other qualified clients.