At 2nd National Career Advocacy Congress
2 million students and jobseekers reached by LMI top Baldoz’s report of CGAP accomplishments

The number of students, jobseekers, and other interest stakeholders reached by labor market information over the last two years–recorded at two million–topped the list of solid accomplishments of the convergent National Career Advocacy Program (CGAP), Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said last Friday at the 2nd National Career Advocacy Congress.

“We provided LMI and career information to about two million students, jobseekers and other interest stakeholders nationwide. We were able to do this because of the support of our private sector partners who provided us labor market signals on in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations contained in the recent JobsFit Report, 2013-2020,” said Baldoz in her keynote address at the Congress.

She cited the Information Technology-Business Process Association of the Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, the various Chambers of Commerce, Philippine Software Industry Association, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Association of Labor Service Contractors, and Private Recruitment and Placement Agencies, among the organizations in key employment generating industries (KEGs) who lent support to the CGAP.

The CGAP is a joint undertaking of the DOLE, Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Professional Regulations Commission (CHED) established following directive of President Benigno S. Aquino III in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July 2011 to review the education and training curriculum to suit the skills requirements of the industries.

This marching order prompted these agencies under the Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) Cluster of the Cabinet to develop and implement four convergent programs to address job-skill mismatch in the country, one of which is the CGAP.

The latest CGAP activity was the launching last December 2013 of the Career Guidance Advocacy Plan 2013-2016 at the National Human Resource Summit.

In her address, Baldoz congratulated the CGAP Working Group which she said “has stirred the implementation of the joint activities under the Plan”.

“Through the DOLE regional offices and its partner agencies, including industry partners, Regional Career Advocacy Congresses  (RCACs) have been conducted annually, bringing down to the regional level our advocacy on career guidance to raise the level of awareness of our partners on the pressing issues of job-skill mismatch and youth unemployment,” Baldoz said.

She bared that there are at present 104 established Networks of Guidance Counselors, with 4,309 members both from public and private schools all over the country.

“I note that we started with only 62 networks with 2,350 members in 2011. Members of the networks are being tapped to facilitate the provision of much-needed tools and expertise in the conduct of DOLE’s advocacy seminars,” she said.

She reported that in 2013, the convergent partners conducted 5,461 career guidance and employment coaching (CGEC) advocacy activities nationwide covering 813,256 participating students and parents in 4,193 schools, colleges, and universities.

“These activities, which enjoyed continuous support of national guidance counseling and career advocates, served as vehicle for labor market information dissemination,” she explained.

Baldoz commended the Department of Education for institutionalizing the nationwide conduct of Career Guidance Week every July.

“Last year, the DepEd held the first simultaneous conduct of the Career Guidance Week in all public schools. It is imperative to mainstream career guidance in the school curriculum so that consciousness about careers and the value or ethics of work are inculcated in the minds of our young kids,” she urged.

She also bared that the PRC, with support from the Professional Boards, is stepping up the conduct of capacity-building for guidance counselors and career advocates. “Our aim is to continuously train our career advocates and guidance counselors who play a crucial role in shaping the minds of the youth towards making decisions about their future. “A seminar-workshop was conducted in 2013. Two more activities are lined-up this year and will continue beyond 2016,” she announced.

“A key result of these capacity-building activities is the organization of the National Federation of Career Guidance Advocates of the Philippines (NFCGAP), composed of presidents/officers from 16 regional federation of guidance counselors and career advocates. The National Federation would have a huge task of sustaining career guidance advocacy activities at the local level,” she further reported.

She said the DepEd, in partnership with the TESDA, was also instrumental in the passage of Executive Order 83 on 1 October 2012 which institutionalized the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF).

The PQF was developed to establish coherent national and internationally benchmarked structure for all qualifications awarded in the country. This supports the mobility of learners and workers.

“In the last PQF-NCC executive meeting held first quarter of this year, we have agreed on the descriptors for professionals in levels 6-8. Pursuant to this policy, TESDA will release this year its registry of qualifications in four identified sectors–tourism, agri-fishery, food processing, and maritime. For the professionals, there are two–dentistry and engineering,” said Baldoz.

Finally, Baldoz said the Philippines has been actively engaged in the development of the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) in order to have a unified scheme for greater learner and labor mobility in the region. This, she said is a parallel effort to the institutionalization of the PQF to enhance the Filipinos’s competitiveness in the global and local arena.

“The Task Force on ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework, headed by no less than PRC Chairperson Manzala, had finalized and completed the AQRF during its 4th Task Force Meeting in Myanmar last March.  The AQRF was submitted to the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting last April for endorsement by the Leaders at the 25th ASEAN Summit in November this year,” she declared.

Over 500 participants attended the 2nd National Career Advocacy Congress, composed of officials and representatives of the CGAP; delegates from various youth organizations; experts from national and international organizations; guidance counselors; career advocates; PESO managers; DOLE regional officials; and members of the media.

The Congress, spearheaded by the DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment headed by Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay, was held at the Midas Hotel on Roxas Boulevard. The first National Career Advocacy Congress was held two years ago, on 25 May 2012, graced by President Aquino as keynote speaker.

END

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