Press Release
September 6, 2011


Ottawa, Canada--Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to collaborate on addressing the oversupply of graduates which exacerbate unemployment and underemployment in the country.

"Last year, we may have posted a fractional gain in unemployment, but underemployment actually increased from 17.8 to 19.5 percent. The net effect is actually negative. While some people got jobs, most of them ended up with work unrelated to their degrees. This is a wasteful loss of our students' potential and their family's hard work," said Angara, who is presently in Canada for the meeting of the Executive Board of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC).

The CHED reported that there is currently an oversupply of graduates in nursing, hotel and restaurant management, business administration, and information technology.

According to Angara, "Most parents still encourage their children to enroll in courses like nursing, thinking that it would be the most profitable, when in fact this may no longer be the case. For example, there is a huge demand for employees trained in vocational and technical programs, yet most students and parents are not even aware of that."

Meanwhile, CHED said there is high demand and great employment opportunities for graduates in agriculture and fisheries, science and technology, pharmacy, medical technology, and engineering.

"These months are crucial because this is when our students are making their college applications, and so we must act swiftly in improving career guidance--for students as well as parents, on whom their children rely for career advice," said Angara.

Angara urged DOLE and CHED to coordinate to more effectively align courses and market needs.

"The DOLE should provide a periodic evidence-based study of employment trends, as well as the overall framework that will make education and jobs placement in sync. These could then be shared with our schools, which must also drastically improve how they provide career guidance to students," he explained.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, has repeatedly called on DOLE to conduct periodic manpower studies and make a forecast of the job demand and supply in various fields to provide guidance to students and job seekers.

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