Press Release
July 1, 2016


Citing the high youth unemployment rate in the country, Senator Sonny Angara has commended the enactment of JobStart Philippines Program that will help the youth land a job by providing them full cycle employment facilitation services.

Republic Act 10869 or the JobStart Philippines Act, which was signed by President Aquino on his last full day in office, seeks to institutionalize the nationwide implementation of the JobStart Philippines Program, a program designed to enhance the employability of the youth by giving them job search assistance, free technical and life skills trainings, placement in internships, and job referrals.

"Nagpapasalamat po tayo kay Pangulong Aquino na bago siya bumaba sa pwesto ay nilagdaan niya ang batas na ito na magbibigay ng permanenteng solusyon sa kawalan ng trabaho lalo na ng ating mga kabataan. Philippine unemployment challenge is primarily a youth phenomenon which this law seeks to address," said Angara, sponsor and one of the authors of the measure.

"Many of our youth are unemployed due to lack of the right skill sets for the jobs available in our country. JobStart program can help our youth, with at least a high school education, become more employable and responsive to the demands of the labor market," he explained.

The January 2016 Labor Force Survey showed that youth unemployment contributes to nearly half or 48.2 percent of the total 2.42 million unemployed Filipinos. This translates to 1.17 million unemployed youth aged 15 to 24 years.

Majority of the unemployed young people are high school graduates, totalling to 800,000, while unemployed college graduates stood at 480,000.

"According to studies, it can take 18 months to two years before new college graduates can land a job while high school graduates can take up to four years. The job search is even longer for youth who drop out of school. JobStart Program aims to reduce their job search period from 2-4 years to 4-6 months," Angara said.

To qualify for the JobStart program, one must be 18 to 24 years old; have at least reached high school level; not be employed, studying, or undergoing training; have no work experience or have less than one year of accumulated work experience.

The program shall include full employment facilitation services such as registration, client assessment, life skills training with one-on-one career coaching, technical training, job matching, and referrals to employers either for further technical training, internship, or for decent employment.

The JobStart training period will be divided into three phases: 1) life skills training for 10 days; 2) technical training for up to three months; and, 3) internship for not more than three months.

JobStart trainees shall receive daily allowance during the life skills and technical training, while during the internship stage, the participating employer must provide the trainees with a daily stipend of not less than 75 percent of the prevailing minimum wage where the establishment is located.

JobStart graduates shall be given preference in the hiring of workers by the participating employers.

JobStart's pilot run, which started last year, produced a total of 1,070 graduates, wherein 783 of them found jobs or were absorbed by partner employers, registering a placement rate of 73 percent.

Most of the JobStart graduates are now working as production staff, hospitality service staff, service crew, sales agent, cashier, among others.

"Ang target ng programang ito ay ang humigit kumulang isang milyong kabataang tambay at mga walang trabaho. This program gives our youth a better opportunity to land a decent job and help their family rise from poverty," Angara added.

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