Press Release
May 8, 2013


Senator Chiz Escudero is pushing for the Level of Skill Surveys and the regular updating of school curricula to help reduce the level of the unemployed which a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed to have remained at an alarming 25.4 percent of the labor force, equivalent to 11.1 million jobless Filipinos.

Escudero noted that the official unemployment rate of 7.1 percent was also among the highest in the Southeast Asian region.

He said the twin measures would be the government's crucial contribution to efforts in bringing down the high level of unemployment despite the economic gains achieved under President Benigno Aquino III.

"The government does not have the mandate to create jobs. This should be the function of the private sector but the government should provide policy support for businesses to generate permanent or long-term jobs," Escudero said.

The re-electionist senator said that for the past two years, he had been pushing for Level of Skill Surveys and the updating of school curriculum to allow the matching of skills of Filipino labor with what is sought in the labor market.

The Level of Skill Survey will allow the government to have a window on the skills of new graduates and those in the labor pool which is useful in comparing skills with the actual demand of businesses, he said.

"Through the surveys, we would know the number and level of skills of lawyers, doctors, nurses, engineers, carpenters and welders and other professions in the population," he said. "Through the data, we would also know if these skills match the jobs currently in demand among industries, here and abroad."

The goal would be to provide the youth with guidance on what courses to take that would provide them the biggest chance to find employment when they graduate, Escudero added.

He said students currently lack the information to guide them on their career options.

"When the trend, for instance, is for a nursing career, most of those who seeks a university course will opt to become nurses because they believe that it is the best chance for them to have a high-paying job here or abroad not knowing that with the influx of students in nursing courses, the labor market becomes saturated, leaving most of those who finished four years of a nursing course without a job when they graduate," Escudero said.

The government should be there to provide the information necessary to assist students in forming their decision on what course to take, he added.

"I am also pursuing the regular updating and revision of school curricula to make educational courses relevant to the actual needs of the time for skills to match what is needed in the workplace which in turn would remove the need for a probationary period and allow workers to be regularized from the day they start work," Escudero said.

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