Group warns vs youth unemployment

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Advocacy group Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) has issued a warning on increased unemployment of the youth as the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect various sectors and industries.

The group urged workforce development stakeholders to provide essential support to the Filipino youth, citing the possibility of “a lost generation of learners.”

“The government, private sector and academe should work together in providing flexible learning opportunities to help the youth get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” PBEd executive director Love Basillote said.

“Our youth need to come out of this pandemic more resilient. We need to listen to them and together come up with programs and policy interventions that will facilitate their transition to the new normal,” Basillote said.

PBEd and the United States Agency for International Development, through youth employability partnership YouthWorks PH, launched a survey to identify the specific needs of jobless and out-of-school youth affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey showed that 97 percent of the respondents had stopped schooling, 86 percent lost their jobs and 100 percent stopped their skills training due to the community quarantine.

The survey was conducted from April 27 and May 6, with 422 respondents aged 15 to 25 in YouthWorks PH sites in Metro Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos cities as respondents.

About half of the respondents were students, 24 percent employed in both formal and informal sectors while four percent were undergoing technical training. Twenty percent were not in school, employed or training prior to the lockdown.

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