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Freeman Cebu Business

DOLE: Jobs available but… Employability of fresh grads remains an issue

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines- Tens of thousands of college seniors leaving the university this graduation season are expected to join the competitive labor market. But are there enough jobs waiting for the college graduates?

According to Department of Labor and Employment 7 Director Exequiel Sarcauga, job vacancies are available in various local industries.

But Sarcauga emphasized that the problem usually lies on the employability of the graduates.

“We just hope that our graduates today will find the right job based on the competencies and skills they have after graduating,” the director told The FREEMAN in an interview. “We hope their employability would match the demand of the industry.”

With the rise in the number of people attaining higher education, getting a job may relatively be tougher now -- the job market is becoming more competitive.

The labor official explained that while job openings are available, many particularly the fresh graduates are also entering the labor market every year.

“The consolation should be that our economy should [consistently] provide job opportunities for fresh graduates or the new entrants,” he noted.

Hiring industries

Sarcauga said the business process outsourcing which includes call centers and IT-enabled service providers remains to be the top hiring industry for fresh graduates.

Jobseekers can also look for jobs in the services and manufacturing sectors, he said.

Low-skilled jobs are also available, he said, owing to the increase of construction activities in the city.

“If you look around, a lot of constructions are going on and these are taking a greater share of the employment need of the region,” the DOLE official said.

Hiring industries also include food and beverage, real estate, banking, information technology, education, financial services and healthcare.

Unemployed youth

The DOLE claimed the youth comprises almost half -- 49.1% -- of the unemployed population of 2.4 million in the country.

According to a survey of the Asian Development Bank, it takes a college graduate one year to find his or her first job, and up to two years to find a regular job.

But Sarcauga explained that skills gap, the mismatch between labor demand and supply, remains to be a challenge for young job applicants. 

In a statement, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier urged the unemployed youth to develop life skills to start their career either in wage employment or entrepreneurship. 

“Let’s face it. While we see our youth as dynamic potential innovators and leaders in the present-day world of work, surprisingly, they still compose almost half or 49.1% of the country’s unemployed population of 2.4 million,” the labor chief said.

Baldoz told graduates that in the current situation, the school-to-work transition in the Philippines is long.

To speed up the transition, she advised the youth to take note what most employers find lacking from applicants -- the life skills. Young people should do something about it, she said. 

“That’s the only way they can improve their prospects in the labor market,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sarcauga told fresh graduates to take advantage of the job fairs happening this summer. Applicants can also seek jobs in Phil-JobNet, DOLE's internet-based job and applicant matching system.  (FREEMAN)

 

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK BALDOZ BUT SARCAUGA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT DIRECTOR EXEQUIEL SARCAUGA GRADUATES JOB LABOR LABOR SECRETARY ROSALINDA BALDOZ SARCAUGA
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