Isuzu’s ‘Heart and Smile’ leads students to new lives with automotive mechanic course

Published April 18, 2022, 7:42 PM

by Pinky Concha-Colmenares

An effective intervention in breaking the cycle of poverty in the Philippines is to provide the poor with the skill, experience and opportunity to obtain gainful employment.

Isuzu chose a CSR project to contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Isuzu established a training center for automotive mechanics centered on the quality of training — from technical training to interpersonal skills, basic financial education, job interview techniques, computer literacy.

Students study the parts of an engine

The training center which started in 2008 is run under the partnership of Isuzu, World Vision Development Foundation and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The Isuzu-TESDA Automotive Mechanic Training School is located in Tacloban, Leyte.  Scholars are offered 100 percent free education, housing in dormitories inside the school compound, free meals, uniforms, and personal necessities.

The full course consists of four modules (NC1, NC2, NC3, NC4) of six months each, and takes in at least 72 young men and women every six months. After 14 years, it has graduated hundreds of auto mechanics, 90 percent who are employed within the year they graduated in various auto companies, most of them at IPC. The rest have established small businesses in their hometowns.

The project is very unique as it produces mechanics with competencies of Levels III and IV. Most of the training institutions now in the Philippines produce mechanics with only Levels I and II competencies.

The center has graduated over 300 automotive mechanics.