Brighter employment prospects await at least 800 individuals who have received free training for CNC Tool Programming and Operations from the Department of Science and Technology- Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC).
MIRDC’s training program is part of DOST’s push for industry competitiveness in the metals and engineering sector and in accordance with Secretary Mario G. Montejo’s directive to address the lack of workers with this skill in the manufacturing industry.
Dr. Danilo N. Pilar, Chief of Technology Diffusion Division of MIRDC revealed that the Secretary’s directive came after Department of Labor and Employment identified CNC machining as a “mission critical skill” in 2012. This means that such is an absolute necessary skill in the industry; takes a long time to produce; and cannot be easily replaced.
Computer numerical control (CNC) is a process in manufacturing that involves the use of computers to control machine tools. CNC machinists are in-charge of programming, setting up and operating CNC machines to cut, shape and form metal castings. Such machines allow the manufacture of products that are exactly the same copies. This is very important in aerospace, medical equipment, and other industries that require precision in manufacturing.
MIRDC’s program to provide free CNC training to qualified unemployed individuals started in 2012 and will end December this year.
“The trainees are given Php 300 per day as stipend for the entire duration of training program”, explained Dr. Pilar.
The 62-day training program includes a twenty-day industry immersion with partner companies of MIRDC. So far, 569 have graduated from the program and another 237 are set to graduate from the ongoing batches, revealed Dr. Pilar. “This means we have exceeded the target of 800 trainee graduates by the end of the year,” he added.
He also said the demand for CNC machinist is very high. In the first batch alone, MIRDC has monitored that more than half of the graduate trainees were eventually employed in the companies where they had their industry immersion. Most of their industry partner companies promise to hire the graduates from the training.
According to Labor Market Trends Publication of the DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment, an entry level CNC machinist earns a salary of Php 15,000 to Php 20,000.
Dr. Pilar clarified that they also accept employed individuals from their partner companies in the training program however a minimal training fee will be charged from them. Most of their trainees are from the unemployed ranks.
The training graduates will also have to render three years of service in the country in exchange for the free training provided.
The training program is being implemented in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in eight locations nationwide which include: MIRDC office in Bicutan Taguig, and TESDA training offices in Taguig, Baguio, Batangas, Ilo-ilo, Negross Occidental, Cebu, and Davao.
Virgilio Lanzuela, immediate past national president of Metalworking Industry Association of the Philippines and owner of RollMaster Machinery and Industrial Services Corporation, commended DOST for its CNC training and other initiatives in the Metals Industry Sector. His company is one of the 24 industry partners of MIRDC in its training program.
“Napakahirap para sa isang maliit na kumpanya ang magtrain ng CNC operators. Dati makakapagtraining ka lang kapag bumili ka ng equipment kasi kasama yun sa package (It’s difficult for a small company to get CNC ooperator trainings. Before, you can only avail of training if you buy an equipment as it is included already in the package,” He said. “With this training provided by MIRDC, companies like us can also have an opportunity to upgrade the skills of our employees.”
To qualify under the program, an applicant must be at least be high school graduate with machining course from TESDA or TESDA accredited training institutions; vocational/trade course graduate or completed two years of college preferably in engineering course.
Aside from CNC Machine Tool Programming and Operations, MIRDC also provides other trainings related to the metalwork industry. For more information, please log on to mirdc.dost.gov.ph or call (02) 8370764. (S&T Media Service)