Hanns Seidel Foundation

p-schaferSkilled Workers: Backbone of the Society

Skilled workers like you are the backbone of the German industry and economy – which is one of the best in the world.  You are now armed and ready to pursue the next step: use what you have learned, work towards your goals, contribute  to your families, your communities, the society… to the common good.  YOU are the backbone of the society. -- Mr. Paul G. Schäfer | Resident Representative, Hanns Seidel Foundation/Germany


The Dualtech Center, which has been a partner  of the Hanns Seidel Foundation since 1982, has successfully continued the program with the Foundation until the project was turned over in 2002.  Very recently, Mr. Arnolfo S. Morfe, the Dualtech Center’s President, shared with us that the total number of graduates since 1988 is now almost 10,000.   Therefore, I would like to express my profound thanks to you and your Team for the brilliant work you have been doing.  You pioneered the dual training system in the Philippines  and have contributed largely to its flourish in the country.  Please, carry on!

The Dual Training System combines practical training in companies and theoretical knowledge in the training center.  To date, there are 107 companies actively cooperating  with the Dualtech Center providing technical training to the students to complement the basic skills training they receive in the Dualtech Center.  You are a vital part of this system and I would like to thank you for your continued involvement and support.

You are all part of a growing area of cooperation  between the Philippines  and Germany as manifested  by the signing of two agreements by the Philippines  and Germany during the official visit of President  Benigno S. Aquino III to Germany last September 2014.  These were both on technical and vocational education  and training (TVET), namely: (1) the Joint Declaration of Intent that provides a comprehensive bilateral  framework for cooperation  on TVET; and (2) a Cooperation Agreement for collaborative  research and development  of TVET.

In a news article, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva said that under the framework, the Philippines  and Germany have just launched the “Dual Training as Extension of the Education Reform Initiative K to 12 of the Philippines (K-12 Plus)” program.

As he explained, this will pursue innovative dual training approaches in Metro Manila and the Central Visayas for various sectors, including tourism, construction, manufacturing,  electronics  and microfinance.  This development reestablishes that the Dualtech Center has, for more than two decades ahead of the pact, set off in the right direction.  Thankfully, many are following suit and, who knows?  Perhaps after another couple of decades,  the impact shall have been increased  by tenfold.

Dear graduates, I am glad for this opportunity  to bear witness to the culmination of your two years’ hard work and dedicated training to become the educated and skilled workers you are today.  Warm congratulations!  Thank you for being individuals who have taken an active part in this important program for yourselves as well as for the country.  You are the chosen ones amongst many who have been aspiring for a good education  and a decent life to have had that opportunity. I am very glad you have seized it and made the most of it.

Skilled workers like you are the backbone of the German industry and economy – which is one of the best in the world.  You are now armed and ready to pursue the next step: use what you have learned, work towards your goals, contribute  to your families, your communities, the society… to the common good.  YOU are the backbone of the society.

I have said this during similar occasions before and I would like to repeat  it today: “Learning is a lifelong commitment.” In the course of life, you will gain a lot more experiences, learn from a myriad of life’s lessons and face different challenges.  Take heart, for you have to but remember one thing, and as they say:  You can achieve it, if you believe it! Believe in yourselves!  Persevere!  Remember, God will help those who help themselves!  There is no place for waiting in this world.  Every minute should be used in moving forward.

In moving forward, I would like to thank you, the parents, for your perseverance in supporting  this training program and for the trust you put in the Dualtech Center that you and your children’s dreams may come true.


It is therefore my great pleasure  to extend heartfelt  congratulations to each and every one of you and parents  for your full support.   I strongly encourage you to step forward, claim your roles as contributors to society, the common good.  Raise your spirits!  Embolden yourselves!  Choose to take action!

Let me also thank the Dualtech Center, the officers, faculty, the staff as well as its partner companies, which have been, as they say, “keeping the faith” and supporting the training programs of the Dualtech Center for a long time now.

This is an investment  that has not only shown promise; it has borne fruits towards the realisation of a better  future for you and your country.  The results we see today show what true cooperation  can achieve.  By working together,  we have earned this milestone in our lifetime.

Let me now end my speech with the following quote: “Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!”
That is from the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

So, once again, congratulations to each and every one of you!!!

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