Drilon seeks job 'mapping' to address unemployment, skills mismatch

By Alexander Villafania

PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA – Senator Franklin Drilon is urging the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to start a job mapping project to monitor industry manpower requirements to reduce the mismatch between graduates and available jobs.

Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and former DoLE secretary, noted the increasing number of unemployed individuals while industries have available jobs that are not filled by qualified workers.

Drilon urged the DoLE to conduct the job mapping and survey to determine the jobs that will be in-demand until 2016. This would also provide educational institutions an idea what to offer and also students who would know what to take.

DoLE should coordinate with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to pursue the job mapping project, the senator added.

In addition, Drilon said schools that produce unemployable graduates because of lack of skills must be regulated.

For instance, Drilon cited a statistic showing that there is an oversupply of at least 280,000 nursing graduates in the Philippines, many of whom were hoping to go abroad due to the supposed nursing boom in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.

As of October 2010, National Statistics Office (NSO) show that unemployment rate in the Philippines is pegged at 7.1 percent, up from 6.8 percent in 2008. Underemployment is also put at 19.6 percent in 2010, up from 17.4 percent in 2008.

During the same period, the number of employed Filipinos is set at 36,489,000 while there are 2.8 million unemployed people.

Drilon is also encouraging more studies on technical-vocational courses, now becoming a popular choice among graduating high school students and some college students. Many of these tech-voc courses are preferred over college degrees as these provide better opportunities for employment abroad.

NSO statistics show that there were 1.8 million graduates of tech-voc courses in 2008.

***

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