Technical-vocational courses in PH

Try Tech-Voc Courses for Better Employment Chances – Sen. Bam to Students

Amid the rising unemployment rate due to job mismatch, Senator Bam Aquino called on high school and college graduates to try technical-vocational courses because of their high demand on the job market.

“We need to adjust to current demands by the labor sector. If we don’t do that, then we’ll end up at the back of the unemployment line,” said Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Aquino made the call after the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate in Southeast Asia, mainly because of job mismatch.

The ILO said the Philippines has an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent compared to six percent by Indonesia and 3.7 percent by Brunei.

Myanmar has an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, Malaysia has 3.2 percent and Singapore has 3.1 percent. At the bottom of the list are Vietnam (1.9 percent), Laos (1.4 percent) Thailand (0.8 percent) and Cambodia (0.3 percent).

According to the latest labor force survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO), unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent or 2.969 million jobless Filipinos from 7.1 percent in January 2013 and 6.5 percent last October.

Aquino said the high number of jobless Filipinos is a result of a surge in new entrants to the labor sector and job mismatch dilemma that has been hounding the country in recent years.

The senator mentioned a recent report from the Department of Labor and Employment, showing that 35.8 percent of applicants were rejected because of lack of competencies.

The senator also cited another DOLE report saying that majority of skills required by 3.8 million job vacancies is technical-vocational related, such as services, information technology and communications.

“Schools produce more four-year college graduates but the current labor market demands for more skills-related workers that can only be filled by technical-vocational graduates,” Aquino stressed.

At the same time, the lawmaker also advised students to dismiss the stigma that goes with technical-vocational courses and instead focus on what career path will give them a brighter future.

Aside from addressing job mismatch, Aquino said the government should strengthen its support on micro, small and medium enterprises to boost employment opportunities.

Aquino recently filed the Youth Entrepreneurship Bill to help address the problem of high unemployment among the youth.

The senator said would-be youth entrepreneurs should be given access to financing, training, market linkages, and other means of support that will help them run and develop their own businesses.


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