Senator Bam Aquino called the huge number of unemployed youth in the country a “growing epidemic” that should be immediately addressed by the government.
“Youth unemployment is a growing epidemic in the Philippines and all over the world,” the senator said during Tuesday’s first-ever hearing of the Senate Committee on Youth, which he chairs.
According to a data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), of the 2.8 million jobless Filipinos, 1.42 million or more than half are from the youth sector.
The lawmaker stressed that the government’s push for inclusive growth will not take off unless the problems of youth unemployment and underemployment are not immediately addressed.
To help tackle this, the senator calls on different government agencies such as the DOLE, the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as well as the private sector, to develop programs that will create more jobs and solve the so-called “job mismatch”, which contributes to the high unemployment rate.
“We call on government agencies, educational institutions, and private companies to work more closely together in solving the problems of youth unemployment and underemployment,” said Sen. Bam.
Aquino stressed that there needs to be better linkages between the private sector and our educational system, “so that our graduates are better equipped for the demands of the industry”.
“We need to ensure that our graduates are equipped to find jobs that fit their skills and educational attainment, after they finish school,” the senator stressed.
If young Filipinos opt to start a new business, the senator said that they should be given access to financing, training, market linkages, and other means of support that will help them run and develop their own businesses.
“This is one of the advocacies of our office, but we need support from different sectors to push for policies and programs that will open up opportunities for young Filipinos,” the lawmaker emphasized.