DoLE agency flags lack of inclusiveness in youth employment despite job growth
THE BUREAU of Local Employment (BLE) said that despite improved employment rates this year, more effort is needed to achieve inclusive growth especially among the youth.
“Young people often do not have the knowledge and skills they need to get decent jobs and employers find it difficult to hire people with the skills they need,” BLE said in a document obtained by BusinessWorld on Wednesday.
“Despite high economic growth, young people struggle to find employment after they leave school,” BLE added.
Citing a study by the International Labor Organization (ILO), BLE noted that global youth unemployment has risen the past 10 years, with the global youth unemployment rate rising from 11.6% in 2007 to 13.0% in 2016.
In the Philippines, youth unemployment improved from 17.6% in 2010 to 14.4% in 2017 but BLE observed that unemployment is still rampant within the youth sector. The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Labor Force Survey (LFS) for July 2018 indicates that there were 1.040 million unemployed people aged 15 to 24.
“Unemployment can be attributed to mismatches between demand and supply of labor, as well as the limited absorptive capacity of the formal economy,” BLE explained.
Job-skill mismatch is a factor BLE said is contributed by poor education curricula, unreasonable qualifications by certain industries, insufficient competencies of job seekers, and inept employment services.
BLE also noted that the labor force participation rate of youth declined from 45.4% in 2010 to 40.1% in 2017. BLE said “This can be attributed to the calendar shift of some universities and due to the implementation of the K-12 programs.”
BLE added that the calendar shift of some institutions has hindered high school and college graduates from entering the work force.
The Bureau said currently available youth and employment skills programs can help enhance youth employability. One of the employment programs available is the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DoLE) Special Programs for Employment of Students (SPES) which is authorized by Republic Act 10917, allowing poor students the opportunity to work during the long holidays at the end of term or over Christmas.
DoLE’s JobsStart Philippines program aims to address job mismatches and unemployment among the youth labor force. It also provides technical training skills and career guidance.
BLE added that other government agencies with human-capital development programs include TESDA, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), the Cabinet Cluster on Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Social Security System (SSS), and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).