Today is: Wed, May 22, 2013
Out-of-school youth now earns steady income
Training turns seasonal farmhand to electronics repair shop owner.
While millions are suffering from the global financial crisis, this out-of-school youth (OSY) and former seasonal farmhand now earns a steady income.
Norudin Kadil, 22, could not go to grade 2 because neither he nor his family had money for the tuition. He decided to just assist palay (rice) farmers.
“My income back then was not enough for food and my other needs, since work in palay farms is seasonal,” he explained. “We worked full-time only for seven days during the planting and harvest seasons, which were more than three months apart,” he added.
Norudin hoped to learn new skills to raise his income. Then he learned about a USAID-funded program that trained OSYs like him to have more livelihood options.
“At first, I was reluctant to join the program since I thought I had to pay for it,” he said. “When I learned that the training was for free, I immediately enlisted, knowing that with a variety of skills, I would have a better chance of getting a job,” he said.
Norudin and 29 other OSYs became part of the Skills Training and Industry Immersion (STII) program of USAID’s Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS) Project, which partner Save the Children is implementing in the area. The three- to five-month program provides workforce skills training to OSYs. More than 59,000 OSYs have taken STII’s 20 courses, which include electronics, welding, building wiring installation, small engine mechanics, carpentry, masonry, handicraft weaving, bag making, baking, and food processing.
Norudin finished the four-month training on the repair of simple to complex electronic products such as flat irons, electric fans, radios, and TV sets. He attended comprehensive lectures paired with practical application of skills.
“It was my first time to tinker with electronic products. I never imagined that I would learn how to repair them,” he said.
After he graduated, he was encouraged to apply his new skills in an actual job. He was also given the option to have his skills certified by taking the National Competency (NC) test of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Roy dela Cruz, STII Municipal Coordinator, added, “We also encourage the graduates to organize themselves into guilds to become micro-entrepreneurs, with start-up funding from our Community Enterprise Development Service Facility.”
Norudin and 16 other STII graduates organized themselves into the Lutayan Basic Consumer Electronics Workers’ Guild and secured a commercial space in the town’s public market where they accept repair jobs for electronic appliances.
Currently, the local government is not charging them rent.
“I have regular customers. I charge them a service fee of US$4.00 for repairs of simple appliances like transistor radios, flat irons, and rice cookers, and US$8 - 10 for more complex appliances such as CD players, TV sets, and washing machines,” Norudin said.
He also disclosed that he is saving part of his income for further training and to prepare for TESDA’s competency test.
“I dream of going abroad to earn more, and then of opening my own repair shop in nearby Koronadal City,” he confided.
“I now look at things differently. After learning these skills, I’m starting to see a brighter future ahead,” he said.
- Success Stories
- Basic Education
- Workforce Development
- Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS2)