Think strategic
BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces (The Freeman) - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

We are getting close to graduation again.  Hopefully, with the introduction of the K-12 curriculum we will find more individuals with gainful employment, and by this I do not only mean that the students or graduates as it applies, will seek employment but would have adequate entrepreneurial skills to market their own abilities.


Plus, there are students who will be graduating from the regular courses.  So after a year or so, when these graduates take their licensure exams we will have a new set of engineers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, custom brokers and whatever else our young have decided to embark on.

The mindset, even while at school has to be slowly changed.  Parents themselves have to also have a paradigm shift.  For not all white collar training lands a person into a job, nor does it possibly pay enough.

The glut of nurses who are underpaid while they wait for their qualifying exams for placement abroad have to cue for a job in the hospitals and clinics just to gain experience.  Only a few think of working in their hometowns, more so, in barrios that are far-flung and hard to reach for medical services.  Only a few doctors want to be assigned in the highlands or lowlands where patients are aplenty.  Although on hindsight, I have noted, in far-away barrios, most of the patients are old, meaning they may have better lifestyles to reach their 80s and 90s before they seek medical treatment.

There are many engineers who are under-employed because there are not enough jobs for them, and again, they join the line of hopefuls for jobs abroad that give higher compensation.

Actually, there is a great need for manpower here.  But perhaps we also have to change our perspective about labor.  We have to place a little more dignity into the jobs that are blue, and brown collared.  In fact, we should be grateful they exist so that the rest of us can continue with our own kind of service as we are granted the privilege to employ them as well.

There is a great need for house helps,  baby sitters,  laundry personnel, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, or handyman skills and we seem to get lost searching for these type of services.

My electrician, Dodong is a class A electrician.  Honestly, I don’t even know how they are classified but if I were to rate him I would give him that grade.  He does not only put wires together and ensure that the lights are turned on, but he also checks on the quality of his work, striving to keep the lines secure.  Of course as he does that I pray for the greatest safe keeper is really our God.  But to grant people like Dodong the conscience as well to work with quality is a blessing I cannot discount.

It is hard to book Dodong these days, since his time is always occupied, that even on Sundays, he has some tinkering to do.  He told me once that he earns at least one thousand a day for the jobs he undertakes.  Not bad for an investment of at least six months at TESDA.

I agree with Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Virgilio Espeleta when he says we have to tool our workforce to conform with the demands of the times.  We need more skilled workers.  More specialized skills and the right equipment to add more quality to the job.  We have to invest on better equipment at training, and perhaps provide better tools for the individuals as well.

Many parents are a loss as to who will take care of their children.  Some have their wives resign from their jobs to make sure their babies are properly cared for.  We export a lot of domestic helpers abroad when we need them here and that will not separate them from their families.  I guess the reason again is economics.  Their pay has to be raised.  But we can always look into more efficient rates that our young couples can afford.  Perhaps it’s also time to change our perspective on our domestic services as well and hire them on an hourly basis.

A friend of mine who now resides abroad takes on odd jobs now that her children are grown.  She baby sits, cleans, and does part-time waitressing depending on the hours.  She earns at least a hundred dollars a day.  Not bad for four hours work.

Although we may not be able to afford that rate but we can do commensurate compensations as well.

What’s my point?  We need to review again our views on the supply and demand of labor.  Train our children to be more independent when it comes to home chores.  Educate our parents on the advantages of skilled labor and entrepreneurship.  Change the labels.

Before being a cook was looked upon as menial.  Now to go to a culinary school is very expensive and the steamy kitchen is no longer a battle ground but a room for creative cooking.  The cook has evolved into a chef.  The tailor now manages his own haberdashery.  We just need to upgrade and to think strategic.

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