Sen. Villanueva: Job-skills mismatch cause of youth unemployment

MANILA, Philippines - "Hindi po trabaho ang kulang, ang kulang ay mga graduates na swak sa trabaho."

Job-skills mismatch cause of youth unemployment
Photo Credit: Reuters
Senator Joel Villanueva has made a strong stance against the state of job-skills mismatch in the country on Wednesday, September 14.

In his first privilege speech, the senator said that mismatch is strongly felt in certain sectors such as manufacturing, electronics and semiconductor and tourism. These are the sectors which are key employment generators based on the Philippine Development Plan.

According to a DOLE report, out of the 4,239,392 domestic and international job vacancies offered in job fairs nationwide in 2014 and 2015, only 391,088 among 1,286,073 applicants were hired on the spot.

Citing the said situation, the senator emphasized that the problem is not the lack of jobs but the mismatch between workers' skills and labor market requirements that is being felt in many parts of the world.

In the Philippines, job-skills mismatch is one of the causes of youth unemployment. Recent surveys reveal that Filipino youth suffers the highest rate of unemployment among age groups. The International Labor Organization estimates that unemployment rate among Filipino youth aged 15-24 averaged at 16.5% from 2010 to 2015.

The situation prompted the senator to file Senate Resolution No. 129 directing the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development to review the state of job-skills mismatch in the country.

Among his recommendations to resolve the issue are the 1) partnering with industry associations; (2) strengthening our enterprise-based training; (3) expanding our technical vocational education and training; and (4) institutionalizing the Philippine Qualifications Framework or PQF.

"If our people have relevant skills: they will have more choices; they will be right for the job; the pursuit of happiness can be real for them. Sama-sama po tayo sa paglikha ng mga batas para tuldukan na ang job-skills mismatch sa bansa at palawakin ang choices ng mga manggagawang Pilipino," Villanueva concluded.

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