SM Foundation conducts intensive HRM course for jobless youth

() - May 10, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Thirty unemployed youth and high school dropouts from Nasugbu, Batangas have been trained in hotel and restaurant operations under the SM Foundation’s Livelihood program. Upon graduation this month they will either be employed by Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay or the Pico Sands Hotel and Resorts in Nasugbu, or its hotel-like staff house or in any hotel or restaurant in Tagaytay, Nasugbu or any part of Cavite and Batangas. Some may even opt to work abroad.

During the four-week intensive course, the trainees were billeted in a huge two-story house, a manageable walking distance from Taal Vista, that the foundation rents where, on their own, they learn to apply the skills they acquired in cooking, house cleaning and managing the day to day affairs of their home while studying at the Taal Vista Hotel from Monday to Sunday. Some of them are in housekeeping, some in kitchen (or in food preparation); others in front desk and ground maintenance and some in food and beverage (waiting services).

Began in February 2011, the specialized training on housekeeping, waiting services, kitchen help and maintenance (including engineering and plumbing) was given to high school graduates whose poverty restricted them from obtaining further education and skills training, thereby reducing their chances of improving their lives.

The trainees came from poor and hard-to-reach barangays Bulihan, Calayo, Looc and Papaya all in Nasugbu, Batangas. The scholars went through four weeks of intensive training, theory and lecture in classroom setting, 180 hours of actual work experience and on the job training (in compliance with the rules set by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), evaluation and exit interview and examinations by TESDA and then graduation.

The three batches were trained by the different department heads of the historic Taal Vista Hotel (built in 1937 but acquired by SM founder Henry Sy in the early eighties). Of the 30 trainees in the first batch, 29 are employed by SM’s Pico Sands Hotel in Nasugbu, nearer to their coastal houses than Taal Vista in Tagaytay, Cavite.

In the second batch of 30 trainees, six were absorbed by Taal Vista, some went to Pico Sands (some in the hotel proper, some in the condominium operations and others in the staff houses) and still others were hired by Radison Hotel in Cebu. It took sometime between the second batch and this third batch to complete because SM Foundation assistant vice president for livelihood Cristie Angeles said she first had to make a “thorough evaluation of the first two batches, track the graduates and how the program impacted on the trainees, their families and the communities they lived in.”

 During their training, the students already earn allowance and tips on the side. Once hired, they get daily wage, overtime pay, other benefits and tips from generous guests.

Among those interviewed, the trainees expressed their profound gratitude and praised the SM Foundation for coming up with such a livelihood program that not only brings hope and confidence to the youth, but make them productive citizens of their communities and their families. “Without this program, we would still be doing the same things — just whiling time away unproductively and not knowing where to get our next meal except that provided by our impoverished parents,” they said.

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