The Isuzu-Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Auto Mechanic Training Center has graduated its second batch of scholars, made up of 29 students picked from numerous qualified but underprivileged youths in the country. The training center is a project of Isuzu Motors Limited of Japan (IML), TESDA and Plan Philippines.

The 13 male and 16 female students from this batch will have the opportunity to work at Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), Isuzu Auto Parts Manufacturing Corp. (IAMC), various Isuzu dealerships, and other local service shops and companies. Isuzu is not the only place where the graduates of the training center can find employment in. IPC encourages its affiliates, suppliers and even companies it doesn't do business with, to also hire the young auto technicians. One of the goals of the training center is to uplift the quality of automotive education in the Philippines for the benefit of the local car industry in general and not just Isuzu. In fact, graduates belonging to the second batch will also land jobs at several bus companies, including Don Mariano, Jell Bus Transport and G-Liner.

Students of the TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Center earn the highest certification (known as NC4) in the field of automotive service after a two-year course. They also get an NC2 certification in driving by the time they graduate. Besides the technical skills, the students are trained in the other aspects of the car business, like teamwork, customer relations and planning.

"It has only been two-and-a-half years since the inauguration of the Isuzu-TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Center, and we are having already the second commencement exercises," said Isuzu Motors Limited Chairman Yoshinori Ida during the graduation ceremony held last May 10. "The first-batch students have earned a good reputation at their workplace because of their skills and knowledge. You are expected to do as well. Your families and we at Isuzu are full of optimism for you."

The Isuzu-TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Center is Isuzu's way of giving back to society. One-hundred percent of the training center's first batch of graduates were employed after their on-the-job training. With the graduation of the 2nd batch, the auto mechanic training center also welcomes to its fold the sixth batch of scholars, composed of 18 students. This brings to 67 the total number of active scholars. Batch 3, which is scheduled to graduate in November, has 15 scholars; Batch 4 has 16 scholars; and Batch 5 has 18 scholars.

"Words are not enough to express our gratitude to Isuzu for the support that they have given us," said Batch 2 top-notcher Rojey Garcia during the commencement exercises. "To my fellow graduates, never give up on what you want to do in life. It's our time to excel. Let us show the world the best that we can be."