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Big hiring potential for skilled workers

First Posted 12:33:00 10/07/2009

The large market for skilled workers overseas, the growth in manpower outsourcing, and the continued problem of mismatched or displaced workers have all convinced a local businessman to put up his own skills training center in Cebu.

Coffee Dream owner Glen Anthony Soco, who put up Global Power Skills Development Center, Inc. in January, says he has already employed 30 percent of its first 300 graduates to work in the coffee shop and two other affiliated manpower agencies.

Soco said their students see the center as an alternative to formal education, which usually takes four years.

The center offers courses that can be finished in three to four months.

Soco said when students finish their course they are ready for work here and overseas and have saved time and money.

The center's curriculum is accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority so its graduates can present their certificates and get units credited towards a four-year course in a formal educational institution.

Soco said there is a big market for skilled workers abroad and people are now looking at skills training centers as the best way to get deployed as these centers also have partnerships with many companies that can employ them.

?We have two manpower agencies, MIMS and Powerline Human Resource Management, Inc., as well as Coffee Dream where we can help our graduates by hiring them,? Soco said.

The 300 graduates from Global Power Skills Development Center, Inc. included scholars from the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship Program, which aims to enhance or realign the of skills of displaced workers such as overseas foreign workers who have lost their jobs abroad,? Soco added.

Soco also sees an increasing trend in companies now trying to outsource some tasks.

?Just like what happened during the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit when we had to provide additional manpower for Waterfront Hotel for waiters and housekeepers because not all the time that we have such huge conventions here that require a lot of manpower so what they did is just outsource,? he said.

Soco and Global Power Skills Development Center, Inc. are also launching their advocacy program, ?Live the Dream,? in which they hope to gather youth for a forum on livelihood and make them see that skills development is important to get hired right away.

?On Oct. 10 we'll start with the first series. There will be about 50 Sangguniang Kabataan officers who will be empowered and the venue will be at the Parkmall in Mandaue City,? he said.

?There are 27 barangays in Mandaue. We hope to gather 5 barangays in every forum and hope to proceed with other areas in Cebu after Mandaue,? Soco said.

Soco said there is a big problem in the job market when it comes to skills matching and the production of too many graduates of a certain course.

?There are many graduates of a certain course who end up working in a job not in line with their courses like doctors suddenly needing a nursing course to work abroad or nursing graduates ending up in another job because there are just too many of them now,? he said.

Soco said that the global market is shifting abruptly.

?Before there is a huge demand for nurses but now it has suddenly shifted to other skilled jobs like housekeepers and bartenders,? he said.

Setting up accredited training centers is the best way to address this problem as it can offer courses for shorter periods, he said.

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