By Helen M. Flores (The Philippine Star) Updated September 09, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Two Singapore-based institutions have partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for the implementation of a training program that aims to boost the skills and competencies of the Filipino workforce.

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Temasek Foundation and TESDA have embarked on a one-year “Training-the-Trainer Program” that aims “to help upgrade the skills and competencies of the Filipino workforce to enhance employability and productivity in the Philippines,” said Benedict Cheong, Temasek Foundation chief executive officer.

TESDA received some $3,000 grant from the Temasek Foundation, a philanthropic organization established by Temasek Holdings in 2007.

Cheong said the program, which started this year, focuses on training, teaching and assessment methodology, instructional material development and training program development methodology.

“The goal is to raise the quality of TVET trainers in the Philippines to be certified in line with the ‘Philippines TVET Trainers Qualification Framework,’” Cheong said.

A total of 660 TESDA trainers will benefit from the one-year customized program developed by ITE.

“We are doing the ‘training the trainer’ approach which is different from other foundations...we listen to host community and transfer knowledge to our partner institutions,” Cheong said.

Aside from its partnership with TESDA, Cheong said the Temasek Foundation has also worked with the Ateneo de Manila University for the training of selected public elementary school teachers in Quezon City and with St. Paul University for the training of some 160 nurse leaders, trainers and clinical instructors from the cities of Manila and Angeles in Pampanga to upgrade their nursing management pedagogy and clinical skills.