SM’s Sy-Coson floats need for more vocational schools in PH

THE top executive of one of the Philippines’ leading conglomerates SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) has floated the need for more vocational schools in the country to train more people with different skills needed by highly specialized industries.
Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairperson of SMIC and concurrent chairperson of BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO), said vocational schools will further improve people’s skills allowing them to qualify and work in industries here and abroad such as the business process outsourcing (BPO) firms.
“The Philippines is still a developing country and unfortunately, the poverty level is still high. As a result, not many people can afford to pay for university education,” said Sy-Coson, who was among the panelists of the ongoing Forbes Global CEO Conference 2015 held in Manila. 
Vocational schools are commonly known as trade schools or career schools, providing practical training with a few unrelated academic course requirements. It also offers programs ranging from ten weeks or less to long-term programs of up to two years in length.
Vincent Tan, founder of the Malaysia-based Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies, has echoed the view of Sy-Coson saying every country should have a lot of vocational schools, which can produce skilled workers such as mechanics, electricians, hotel and BPO industry employees.