“We have come so far in our march towards addressing the challenge of job-skill mismatch in the country.”

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said as she addressed the more than 300 guests, both from the public and the private sectors, during the 3rd National Career Advocacy Congress held recently at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City.

 

This year’s national career advocacy congress focused on the accomplishments of the Career Guidance Advocacy Program-Working Group (CGAP-WG) based on the activities enrolled in the Career Guidance Advocacy Plan 2013-2016. It also discussed the next medium-term agenda of the CGAP by presenting the Career Guidance Advocacy Plan 2017-2022.

 

“Our main goal is to guide the youth in choosing the right career path, so that when they graduate, there is practically no lost time to get or land a job,” the DOLE chief said as she reminded the participants on the relevance of the Congress.

 

“With the main objective of intensifying career guidance advocacy on a national scale, the DOLE led the development of an inter-agency Career Guidance Advocacy Plan 2013-2016 to make national and regional labor market information (LMI) more accessible and responsive to the needs of the public,” Baldoz said.

 

As specific approaches to address the problem of job-skill mismatch, six joint activities were enrolled by the CGAP-Working Group in the Plan 2013-2016—career guidance week; capacity-building for registered guidance counselors and career advocates; career guidance through social networks; career ambassadors; national and regional career advocacy congresses; and regionalized career guidance information blitz.

 

“Among the six joint activities enrolled in the Career Guidance Advocacy Plan 2013-2016, the national career advocacy congress (NCAC) serves as its flagship activity,” Secretary Baldoz said.

 

The first national career advocacy congress was held in 24 to 25 May 2012, with President Benigno Aquino III gracing the event to deliver his keynote message to close to 400 participants. The event centered on the theme, “Follow the guide. Tag a career. Like the future!” which was a take-off from the mainstream language of social media to relate more to the youth.

 

“Although national congresses are effective in delivering relevant LMI and career guidance information, it is likewise important to bring to the regional level our advocacy on career guidance,” Baldoz said.

 

In 2013, the Department of Education (DepEd) issued Department Order No. 25 series of 2013, or the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Annual Career Guidance Week, which is celebrated every last week of July.

 

The DepEd, in collaboration with the CGAP-WG, issued the said guidelines in line with the goal of the K to 12 Basic Education Program to produce graduates who are ready for higher education, middle level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.

 

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), on the other hand, issued Memorandum Order No. 1 Series of 2014 on 9 January 2014 which specified CHED’s Priority Courses from AY 2014-2015 to AY 2017-2018.

 

Also on the same year, CHED issued Memorandum Order No. 18 or the Installation of Labor Market Information (LMI) Corner in all Higher Education Institutions (HEI).

 

The memorandum order states that the LMI corner shall be installed in a location easily accessible by all students in each HEI. The LMI aims to inform students about the government assistance they can access and guides them in deciding on career path to take after college and what industries to enter once they get into the labor force.

 

“Professionals play a crucial role in guiding the youth in making informed career decisions. They are being tapped to facilitate and provide the much needed tools and expertise in the conduct of DOLE’s advocacy seminars,” the DOLE chief said.

 

In 2011, there were 62 networks of guidance counselors and career advocates composed of 2,350 members. As of December 2015, there were already 108 established networks with 5,431 members from public and private schools nationwide.

 

“You have to be excited in doing career guidance and career advocacy work. What we do will make a big difference in the life of our youth, especially those who are unemployed,” Baldoz told the guidance counselors and career advocates who attended the Congress.

 

Through the PRC’s leadership and with support from the Professional Boards, capacity-building activities were conducted from 2013 to 2015. More than 600 registered guidance counselors and career advocates were trained through these seminar-workshops.

 

The Organization of Network of the Career Guidance Advocates of the Philippines (NCGAP), which was established in September 2013, has now acquired a certificate of incorporation from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is now renamed as the Federation of Career Guidance Advocates Network of the Philippines, Inc. (FCGANP).

 

In addition to the registered guidance counselors, TESDA and CHED also identified more than 40 career ambassadors. They are composed of technical-vocational education training (TVET) career ambassadors and higher education career ambassadors.

 

“So we have guidance counselors inside our schools, at the same time, we have career ambassadors outside, who promote the same advocacy,” the DOLE Secretary said.

 

“There are so many exciting, yet challenging developments in the field of career guidance and advocacy. The DOLE and the entire agencies tasked to address jobs and skills mismatch are not daunted because we have the support of the public and the private sectors,” Secretary Baldoz finally said.

 

The 3rd National Career Advocacy Congress was also attended by Dr. Napoleon Juanillo from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Dr. Luzviminda Guzman from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC); Assistant Secretary Elvin Uy from the Department of Education (DepEd); Ma. Daisy Demoni from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST); and Dr. Bonifacio Mercado, Jr., President of the Federation of Career Guidance Advocates Network of the Philippines, Inc. (FCGANP).

 

END/aldm

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