The DOLE’s JobStart Program, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, got another boost yesterday when 14 companies in Dumaguete City in the Negros Island Region (NIR) pledged 217 job slots for the same number of JobStarters under the program.
The pledges, made by the employers during the JobStart Stakeholders Meeting held for the purpose at the Dumaguete Royal Suite Inn, was over and above the 200 slots allocated by JobStart for Negros Oriental.
In a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Undersecretary Nicon F. Fameronag said some employers asked for more JobStarters because they really need more workers for their operations.
In his report, Fameronag said the employers were very excited at the prospect of getting qualified people through JobStart.
“The employers really need qualified workers,” Fameronag said, quoting Danah V. Fortunato, Executive Director of the 22-strong ICT Association of Dumaguete and Negros Oriental, the umbrella organization of IT-BPM stakeholders in the region.
“At the IT-BPM sector, we need 2,000 to 3,000 workers this year for “back fills” alone—these are replacement for workers who leave, are separated, or who move to higher positions—as well as to fill up positions for growth,” said Ms. Fortunato.
The companies that attended the pledging session cum meeting are Qualfon, which needs 15 JobsStarters; Levy Salon, which pledged four JobStarters; Tech-Synergy Dumaguete Transcription, Inc. (6); Bristol Massage and Spa (9); Casablanca Restaurant (10); Teletech Dumaguete (30); SPI Global (20); Student Universe (5); GUD Moto Trading, Inc. (25); Mooon Café (50); Coco Grande Hotel (17); Favi Beauty Salon (1); Cang’s Incorporated (5); and Skycable (20).
Baldoz commended the DOLE Regional Office No. 7 for the success of the meeting, saying that employers are very much part of the JobStart program.
“As a career coaching and skills training program intended to help young people jumpstart their careers, JobStart can only create opportunities to improve their technical skills and develop the like skills necessary for them to succeed in today’s competitive workplace through partnership with employers,” she said.
“I am very much elated by the support of the companies in Dumaguete which pledged this huge support,” she added, adding:
“I encourage you to assist the young people you will take under your wings to transition into the kind of talents/workers that you want to keep in your company through mentoring and coaching.”
After the meeting, Simon Fraser of Scopeglobal, explained in detail the engagement with the employers including the contents of the contract, training plan, and the monitoring and evaluation process.
Dir. Anna Dominique R. Tutay of the Bureau of Local Employment, program manager of JobStart, said the next step will be the signing of contracts/memoranda of agreement for the full implementation of the program.
“The life skills training, the first phase of the program, will be on April 25 to May 6, so we will already start the registration on April 18-22 at the Dumaguete City Public Employment Service Office,” said Maria Socorro Pastor-Mira, PESO Manager.
Baldoz urged interested applicants to the JobStart Program to prepare and register if they want to join the program.
Any Filipino aged 18-25 years old; at least high school graduate, or college level, or college graduate; with less than one year of working experience; and not employed, not in education, and not in training are qualified to apply for JobStart.
JobStart, which was pilot-tested in four local government units in Luzon in 2014, receives funding support from the Government of Canada and technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank.
Baldoz said that because JobStart has received very positive feedback from both the employers and youth JobStarters during the mid-term review of its pilot run, the DOLE has decided to scale up the program in the pilot areas and roll it out in 10 additional LGUs in the Visayas—Bohol, Cebu, and Dumaguete—and in Mindanao—Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, and Tagum City, as well as Puerto Princesa City, Mandaluyong City, Pasay City, and Caloocan City.