Twenty women from Davao City were recently certified as skilled plumbers, while 54 people will be trained in welding and baking in Bacnotan, La Union as leading cement maker Holcim Philippines, Inc. continues to works with partners on equipping people from its communities with new skills that expand their employment opportunities.
Holcim Davao held a graduation ceremony last September 30 for 20 women who completed a 15-day plumbing skills training program and received skilled worker certifications from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Meanwhile, Holcim Bacnotan sealed a partnership on Sept. 13 with the CICOSAT Colleges of San Fernando, La Union and host community Barangay Quirino on training 54 residents in wielding and baking. The plants provided funding support for the trainings.
Livelihood and inclusive business for communities are among the key pillars of Holcim Helps, the company’s corporate citizenship program. In 2018, skills development initiatives received the biggest share of the company’s budget for Holcim Helps. Holcim Philippines also supports initiatives for shelter, infrastructure, education, health, and safety, which were estimated to have benefited up to 400,000 people as of last year.
Holcim Davao Plant CSR Manager May Escalicas said the all-female skills training supports gender diversity as it empowers women, who are mostly housewives looking to earn an income.
“We have also completed the first two skills training activities, such as the Forklift Operations and Plumbing National Certification II (NCII) and currently, implementing three more for Masonry, Carpentry, and Welding NCII in Tambobong Baguio District that will help 75 indigenous people,” added Escalicas.
The plumbing skills training program is part of Holcim Davao’s partnership with the Region 11 offices of TESDA and Department of Social Welfare and Development and the local governments of neighboring communities. The partners signed a Memorandum of Agreement last April 23 to support the high demand for skilled construction workers created by the government’s infrastructure upgrade drive “Build, Build, Build.”
On the other hand, the welding and training for Bacnotan residents will be conducted by TESDA-accredited CICOSAT volunteer trainers using modules that allow the beneficiaries to achieve the required competency units for NCII. The participants will also have sessions on entrepreneurship, which will be monitored afterward to determine their progress.
In his message during the MOA signing, Bacnotan Plant Manager Erano Santos shared how, “the partnership is true to the spirit of sustainability because providing skills gives people the chance to level up because of themselves without having to depend on anyone. And this is something no one can take away from them.”
Barangay Quirino Captain Marvin Cardinez also mentioned that “training people is a more sustainable option than providing funding for livelihood because it is a challenge to sustain personal commitment from the beneficiaries.
The courses were based on a community survey revealing strong interest on these skills due to employment and business opportunities in their area related to those disciplines.