PHILIPPINES: Don Bosco Technical Institute Selected as Electrolux Partner to Bring New Technology Training to Electrolux Employees
(MissionNewswire) More than one quarter of the population of the Philippines live in poverty, according to UNICEF. Poverty is most severe and widespread in rural areas where 80 percent of the population–close to 88 million people–make their home. The poorest Filipinos are indigenous populations, small-scale farmers who cultivate land received through agrarian reform, landless workers and fisherman. Throughout, poverty rates are higher for women than men.
Illiteracy and high levels of unemployment contribute to the elevated poverty rate. With more than 11 million out-of-school youth in the country and drop-out rates doubling as children reach secondary school, access to education becomes a critical step in breaking the cycle of poverty.
For many decades, Salesian programs in the Philippines have been educating poor youth and providing them the skills necessary to find and retain employment. Recently, Don Bosco Technical Institute-Makati in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, has partnered with Electrolux, a European appliance manufacturer, to create a training program that will provide ongoing education for the company’s front line sales representatives. The goal of the training is to help Electrolux’s sales force better understand the technology behind the items they are selling in order to better assist prospective buyers.
Don Bosco Technical Institutes offers technical skills training programs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Programs at the institute run 15 months in length and provide certification in auto mechanics, electro-mechanics and refrigerator and air-conditioning mechanics as well as certification to become a fitter machinist. Electrolux has set up a training room at the technical institute where Don Bosco teachers train front line sales people in the technology of appliances supplied by Electrolux that include refrigerators, washing machines and air-conditioners.
The program at Don Bosco involves both a one-day basic and two to three day intensive training session for Electrolux sales people which is in addition to in-house training given by Electrolux. The hope is that once training is completed, employees will be better able to respond to prospective buyers’ questions about the products’ capabilities, particularly related to energy efficiency, recyclability and the unique consumer advantages of the Electrolux brand.
The front line sales force is made up of young high school graduates between the ages of 18 and 25. Hired as contract employees, the additional training opens the door to possibilities for regular employment positions.
Students enrolled in Don Bosco Technical Institute technical skills training programs also benefit from this partnership by having access to a wider range of products from which to learn their trades. The Electrolux training room, which can host 25 people per session including two instructors, is too small for regular Don Bosco classes, but Father Dindo S. Vitug, technical director at the Don Bosco Technical School Vocational Education and Training center, has plans to open the room for technical students when Electrolux training is not in session.
“We want our students to have a broader perspective and not be limited to just one brand,” said Fr. Vitug, in a recent Philippines Inquirer.net article about the partnership. “Students will learn something new from having the training program at Don Bosco, as our educators can teach the students what they themselves have learned about Electrolux technology, particularly refrigeration and air-conditioning.”
Don Bosco Technical Institute was chosen for the training program because Electrolux felt that teachers from Don Bosco not only knew the technology of the appliances but were highly skilled at teaching and transferring that knowledge to students.
Learn more about Salesian Missions programs in the Philippines.
Salesian Missions – Philippines
Philippines Inquirer.net – Don Bosco teaches the ‘out-of-school’
UNICEF – Philippines