SM Foundation (SMFI), in partnership with TESDA. DOLE. DSWD. SM Supermalls and SM Markets launched the first ever National Certificate (NC) training program for Customer Service at SM City Pampanga on November 19, 2021. Dubbed as the SM Asensong Pinoy Program, the project aims to strengthen the qualifications of the Filipino workforce and ultimately address various employment issues in the customer service sector .
The program’s curriculum is designed to produce industry efficient retail under the supervision of SM Markets. The first batch of qualified apprentices will train in SM Supermarket, Pampanga, San Fernando, Savemore, Malhacan, Baliwag, SM Hypermarket Clark and Marilao. Those who successfully complete the training course will undergo TESDA’s Customer Care NCIl assessment and passers will be offered an opportunity to continue employment with SM. From there, SM and partner agencies will evaluate the program’s eligibility for expansion to other regions.
“Since 1994, our training programs in TESDA have been giving opportunities to Filipinos to obtain the essential skills they need to get employed. Through the years, we have designed various courses that help prepare hard working individuals perform properly in their chosen fields. Today, we add another program designed to produce an adeptessential worker for a high-demand retail job. And SM, known for its expertise in Customer Care Services will strengthen the qualifications of the Filipino workforce and help address unemployment and job-skills mismatch” said Regional Director Balmyrson M. Valdez.
The program is open to 18-28 years old females who have completed at least senior high or 2nd year college levels of education. Trainees under the program will undergo technical, values formation, and hands on training for eight hours a day, six days a week. They are to receive a minimum wage allowance as well as accident insurance coverage, and free NCIl assessment fees. Those who successfully complete the program will receive an SM Partnership Certificate of Training and TESDA’s NCII Certificate of Completion, as well as the opportunity to get hired in by the SM Retall group. The certification will also make them eligible for other local and international employment opportunities in the future.
“Customer Care is one of the most important functions of retail operations and we are very happy to be partnering with TESDA, DOLE and DSWD in sharing our training capabilities to interested individuals. We believe that nurturing the skills of our Filipino workforce will be very beneficial to the whole industry as we all work together to jumpstart our economy.” said SM Supermarket President Jojo T. Tagbo.
While the program is the first of its kind, SM Markets has been a venue for other skills training programs not just for frontline service but also for farmers under SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan program and for persons with autism in partnership with Autism Society Philippines. SM Markets continues to serve various sectors by finding opportunities to share its business expertise and unlocking more livelihood opportunities for different communities.
Furthermore, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña expressed his gratitude to SM for this social good collaboration, “One of our long time partners is SM foundation. They have been with us in delivering programs in the communities. Today’s event is another testament to SM’s unwavering commitment in helping the Filipinos through the enterprise-based training apprenticeship program with TESDA Region III.”
“Through this program, our learners will not only expand their skills and knowledge but will also be confident enough to explore bigger opportunities as soon as they complete their training,” he further added.
Aside from bringing sustainable farming skills and agri-opportunities in communities, SMFI, through its Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan, continues to partner with key agencies—both in the private and public sectors—to expand its reach and provide stakeholders from grassroots communities with livelihood opportunities.