Press Release
January 24, 2010

To boost jobseekers employability
Villar wants skills-jobs mismatch fixed

The prevailing skills and jobs mismatch in the Philippines might put to waste overseas employment opportunities for Filipinos, Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar said.

Villar noted that the mismatch in the availability of skills and the actual manpower requirements of employers is one of the major problems in the labor sector.

"We should guide the jobless, jobseekers, and the students, particularly the graduates, so they will be equipped with the skills and know-how that will surely land them jobs. If their present qualifications are lacking, then they can take up vocational or refresher courses. These will boost their employability," said Villar.

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the healthcare and construction sectors will still be the top sources of employment for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the next five to 10 years.

The energy, tourism, information and communications, manufacturing, electronics and metals, transport, services, education, environment and shipping sectors were also cited as top sources of employment, based from the POEA's report OFW Deployment Trend Outlook for 2010 and Beyond. The labor and education departments must address this mismatch to assist jobseekers and employers in meeting their needs, which over the long term will serve to reduce unemployment rate as well, Villar said.

Based on figures released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), unemployment rate last year reached 7.5 percent, higher than the 7.4 percent recorded in 2008. This translates to about 2.8 million jobless Filipinos last year.

He stressed that students must be given appropriate guidance on the current labor market situation, specifically the areas where labor is in demand and there is scarcity of labor to be able to resolve the mismatch between available skills and actual requirements of industries.

Malapit na naman ang panahon ng graduation at madami na naman ang dadagdag sa bilang ng mga naghahanap ng trabaho, kaya dapat ay ihanda ang mga oportunidad sa kanila para hindi na sila dumagdag sa bilang ng mga Pilipinong walang trabaho, said Villar, whose office, has been conducting livelihood and skills training programs for the youth, women, and OFWs.

In 2009, the skills most in demand in the overseas labor market were: household service workers, nurses, production and related workers, caregivers, wiremen, electrical and related workers, welders, flame cutters and related workers, cleaners and related workers, cooks and related workers, laborers, general workers and plumbers, pipe fitters and related workers and seafarers.

The POEA said the Middle East will continue to be the major labor market of OFWs in 2010 particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

Major projects for 2010 onwards are seen in construction, energy, industry, petrochemicals, water, transport, health, food, tourism, retail, energy, telecommunications, production, distribution and services, banking, education, operation and maintenance, and Information technology (IT) sectors.

Asia is the second largest regional destination of OFWs and there is a huge demand for engineers, teachers, operators, health workers, welders, pipe fitters and riggers, plantation workers, service workers, IT specialists, manufacturing and hotel and gaming workers, IT and financial workers, and those in the healthcare, construction, shipbuilding and repair sectors in the region.

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