BUGUIAS, Benguet – After 34 days of painstakingly taking the course shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), 16 students were confirmed as graduates last May 28 adding to the 704 alumni of the BENECO Skills Development Training Center (BSDTC), the only technical institution serving northern Benguet, located at Abatan here.
The theme of the 18th commencement exercise – “A Simple Spark could transform the Future – instills to the minds of the graduates that their added skill in welding could be the ticket for a better life.
Two among the sixteen graduates have already finished bachelor’s degree on Hotel and Restaurant Management and Agriculture but took SMAW for additional skill and earning a national certificate level II.
One of the graduates didn’t attend the graduation because he already gone to Canada just after his assessment. This is the 5th BSDTC graduate who landed a job in Canada and two of them are skilled welders. Three went to Japan last May 27 to practice flux core arc welding (FCAW), a higher field than SMAW. The FCAW is being taught by Hanjin while the graduates have their apprenticeship. This June 12, 10 of our graduates will go to down to Subic and work with Hanjin as apprentice opening doors to employment opportunities while enhancing their skills.
In his speech to the graduates, Buguias municipality vice mayor Ireneo Calwag said, “we must practice our profession and work not only well but with diligence and best in quality.” The National Certificate II serve as a “license” for the graduates to have an advantage among job searchers who don’t have the certificate. They will have a better chance to be employed or engaged in private business.
In addition, he thanked BENECO in offering TVET programs that supports RA 10647, known as, “An Act Strengthening the Ladderized Interface Between Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Higher Education.” Some of the graduates will continue to pursue higher education bringing the welding skill with them.
“We as parents, and officials of the municipality, are thankful for BENECO not only for providing a TVET school but also by offering courses for free,” Calwag said.
On the other hand, District XI Director Rev. Jonathan Obar, reminded the graduates that the “center of all things and endeavor is God. “And that God will continue to light and make a spark in their life,” he added.
He thanked BENECO for having the school, TESDA as a partner, the board of the directors and management who conceptualized the school, initially as a program under its CSR programs.
“But we need cooperation, this school is ours, BENECO is our cooperative and as members of the cooperative we need to support and strengthen our cooperation with BENECO,” Obar said.
BENECO continues to find ways to help the community, specially the out-of-school youths and indigent families who cannot send their school to college due to financial constraints. BSDTC is just one. By offering TVET courses on shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation maintenance and massage therapy for free, BSDTC is opening doors to opportunities.
Classes are going on for the three courses. And BSDTC continues to accept applications for enrollment.
By Chris Gonzales