Youth unemployment addresses half of unemployment — DOLE
from July 22, 2014 06:00 pm to July 22, 2014 06:00 pm
July 21, 2014
Manila, Philippines (PNA) — Almost half of the country’s unemployment problem is said to be solved if youth unemployment will be addressed, according to the Department Of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Director of Labor Communications Office, Nicon Fameronag in an exclusive interview with the Philippines News Agency.
“If we would be able to address our youth unemployment, almost half of the unemployment problem is solved,” Fameronag stressed.
Fifty percent of the unemployed are youth aged 15-24 years old. Most of them are fresh high school graduates, college graduates and drop-outs.
Fameronag even shared that youth unemployment and underemployment face an even worse condition than unemployment as a whole.
“Youth unemployment and underemployment are worse. We consider them as bigger challenges.”
The rate of underemployment in the country is 18 percent which translates to 7.03 million individuals.
DOLE defines underemployed workers as employed persons who want additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or a new job with longer working hours.
Fameronag cited a study by The Asian Development Bank (ADB) which shows that there has been a slow school-to-work transition in the Philippines. The study says that it takes one year for an average college graduate to find a job and another two years to have a regular job.
This situation is also said to be the reason DOLE has facilitated employment through various programs focused on the youth employment.
The banner program of DOLE, Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) is catered to out-of-school youths (OSYs) aged 18 to 25 years old. It is an annual summer employment program which aims to provide the youth with extra income to make their vacation more productive.
SPES trainees are employed for 30 working days. They earn minimum wage (R466.00 per day), 40 percent of which comes from DOLE while 60 percent comes from the employer (public or private).
Another is the Government Internship Program (GIP) which targets disadvantaged youth at the grassroots level aged 18 to 25 years old who would like to work in the government. They earn 75 percent of the minimum wage applicable to their assigned DOLE agencies or offices.
In May, 2012, when the program was started, the GIP accepted fresh college graduates of SY 2011-2012 who hold courses relevant to DOLE’s operation, but now the DOLE has extended the program for the marginzalized youth.
Meanwhile, an emergency employment program of DOLE, Tulong Panghanapbuhay Para sa Ating Displaced Workers (TUPAD), provides immediate income to the victims of disasters while they are waiting for recovery and rehabilitation.
TUPAD aims to strengthen social protection for affected workers of disaster-struck areas by enhancing their access to emergency employment and livelihood program. The program is under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).
The beneficiaries are either employed from 10 to 30 work days and earn minimum wage or given livelihood provided with capital instead of cash.
“If they opt to have a business, we provide them livelihood. They apply to us so that we can give them training and capital in the form of tools, equipment and raw materials,” Fameronag explained.
The DOLE has also established an information drive on Labor Market Information (LMI) which aims to basically provide career guidance and information for both employers and employees regarding employment and job market. It has online platforms like PHIL-JobNet and JobStart Philippines.
The programs have been funded by R143 million fund from the Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP) which benefitted more than 30,000 workers.
In order to reach DOLE’s 2020 Vision to address job mismatch, the agency has consolidated figures presenting Key Employment Generators (KEGs), In-demand occupations and Hard-to-fill occupations.
There are 256 in-demand occupations which are yet to be filled in while there are another 150 hard-to-fill occupations which the DOLE has been promoting.
The 15 Key Employment Generators (KEGs) are: Agribusiness, Construction, IT/Business Process Management, Health and Wellness, Hotel Restaurant and Tourism, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Banking and Finance, Mining, Transport and Logistics, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Power and Utilities and Education.
The top in-demand industries in the country are: IT-BPM, Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Tourism, Housing and Infrastructure, and Logistics.
The following are the type of workers needed in the ASEAN region: Oil and Gas workers, Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, Accountants, Skilled Workers, Teachers, Construction Workers, Dentists, Supervisors/Consultants.
Workers needed globally are: Skilled Trade Workers, Engineers, Sales Representatives, Technicians, Drivers, Laborers, IT Staff, Accounting and Finance Staff, Chefs/Cooks, and Management Executives.