Bayan Academy seeks to democratize employment by offering training in technical and vocational skills to high school graduates, unemployed youth and adults on such marketable fields as welding, construction work, building maintenance, security services, culinary arts, bar tending, housekeeping and the like, to help increase their chances of finding jobs.

It was in pursuit of this goal that Bayan Academy sought a partnership with the government’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 2009. A Memorandum of Agreement accredited the Academy as a technical-vocational (tech-voc) provider availing of TESDA’s voucher system under its Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). Under the voucher system, Bayan Academy avails of TESDA’s subsidy to train TESDA scholars and improve their chances of getting employment.

Linkages on the Ground
With TESDA’s initial support, Bayan Academy forged linkages and partnerships with church-based organizations, NGOs and foundations doing social development work in depressed communities that were the sources of target beneficiaries who could avail of the technical skills and livelihood courses. It also linked up with reputable TESDA-accredited training institutions to deliver the tech-voc courses, and private and public sector institutions that could sponsor the education and training of beneficiaries, and would be future employers of Bayan Academy graduates. Bayan Academy handles school-based training programs for TESDA-scholars and paying students in its own premises, as well as community-based programs in coordination with regional and provincial TESDA offices, local government units and NGOs on the ground.

Culinary Courses
In partnership with TESDA, Bayan Academy developed culinary courses which paved the way for the creation of its First Gen Culinary Arts facility. Called Culinary for the Masses, the facility has trained more than 4,000 individuals in hot kitchen, cold kitchen and baking and pastry courses.

To sustain the culinary program, in 2010, the Academy shifted its focus to a new audience of paying students. It also raised the caliber of its chefs and cooking instructors to meet the demands of its new clientele.

Bayan Academy’s partners, Maggi, Sabah and Sun Goddess, have provided free training using the Academy’s culinary facility, to microentrepreneurs who are in the food business. With the support of Silver Swan and Ai-Hu, Bayan registered with TESDA, a Mobile Culinary Bus that was brought to different areas to train TESDA beneficiaries.

Chef Ferdinand Nepomuceno demonstrates basic knife skills to Cookery NC II students.

Expanded Partnership
Under a new MOA in 2012, TESDA allotted more scholarship vouchers for poor but deserving youth who enrolled in Bayan Academy to avail of TESDA courses, such as commercial cookery, and a finishing course for call center agents. Under this agreement, Bayan Academy implemented technology-based training programs in Palawan and the BayaniJuan community in Calauan, Laguna.

In 2016, Bayan Academy availed of TESDA’s Community-Based Learning through its Mobile Training Facility that brings soft skills training for TESDA scholars in Region 7, CALABARZON, Palawan and NCR. For this purpose, Bayan Academy purchased a truck as a requirement for the registration of mobile courses. It has graduated 75 TESDA scholars in Palawan.

Bayan Academy is also an accredited assessment center for TESDA graduates in Cookery NC II, Bread and Pastry Production NC II, Hilot Wellness NC II and Events Management NC III.

The Academy has established a network of companies where graduates can go for on-the-job training and possible employment. For the new courses lined up by TESDA such as technical skilling for call center agents and computer animation, Bayan Academy has forged a partnership with VCC Link which has a portfolio of high-end call center clients (Accenture, Teleperformance, and others), and CIIT College of Arts and Technology which has vital connections in the animation industry.

Return on Investment
The results have been gratifying. As of December 2016, on an investment by TESDA of Php 9,300, a graduate in Cookery could earn Php 10,000 a month in a local restaurant, and Php 27,500 a month as an assistant chef in the Middle East, Malaysia or Singapore. On an investment of Php 6,000, a call center student earns an average of Php 17,000 a month. A Php 3,900 investment on a Bread and Pastry student converts to an average monthly pay of Php 8,000.

From an investment of Php 25,000 (in 2D Animation NC III) and Php 35,000 (in 3D Animation NC III), a graduate can earn an average of Php 18,000 a month. A Php 5,500 investment in Hilot Wellness NC II and Php 7,350 in Massage Therapy NC II, converts to an average income of Php 9,000 a month. An Events Management NC III graduate earns an average of Php 12,500 per month from a Php 7,500 investment.

The Bayan Academy-TESDA partnership has been beneficial to both parties and the public they are committed to serve. While TESDA provides the subsidy and the course contents, Bayan Academy provides the passion for imparting skills and knowledge for converting individual, families and communities into productive and satisfied members of society.