Senate bill establishes corporate incentive scheme to enable tech-vocal training

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A bill to better adapt technical and vocational education and training (tech-voc) to the needs of the labor market has been tabled in the Senate, granting tax deductions to companies that offer apprenticeship training.

Senate Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said his Senate Bill 363, or Corporate Education and Training Bill, seeks to introduce an apprenticeship and training system on a work-study basis in order to better prepare trainees for the job market.

Companies that organize and implement in-company training will be able to benefit from additional deductions from taxable income equivalent to 75% of the training expenses incurred; with donations, contributions, grants, bequests or financial assistance given to a participating educational institution fully deductible from the donors’ gross income and exempt from tax.

“The bill can help the government continue to respond to changing market needs and put in place good governance mechanisms that can expand partnership with industry associations and companies through in-company training,” said- he declared.

Enhancing private sector participation through a national enterprise training system will address the job skills mismatch and ensure an adequate supply of workers with vital skills for the industry, he added. .

The bill targets trainees who are high school graduates or equivalent, and tested for professional aptitude and ability, and the ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.

Participating companies are required to register their programs with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) before entering into agreements with trainees.

Participating employers must also establish a corporate education and training committee that will monitor and recommend actions for effective program implementation and resolve disputes between management and trainees.

No company will be allowed to hire interns beyond 20% of the total number of regular employees. Interns should also have appropriate life and accident insurance free of charge.

Every four years after the law comes into force, TESDA must conduct a review of its implementation, achievements and recommendations for further improvements.

Mr. Villanueva urged employers and businesses to invest in technical vocational training graduates, noting that “our technical vocational training is among the best in the world” because “we have a talent pool that can do every job”. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

Norman D. Briggs