Message: SECRETARY ROSALINDA DIMAPILIS-BALDOZ
Employment Outlook for Senior High School Graduates of TVET Track
14th Human Resource and Skills Development Conference
Theme: The TVET2TESD Journey: Multiple Pathways, ONE Destination
1:30 P.M.-2:15 P.M., 4 September 2015, Dakak Park and Beach Resort
First of all, I would like to extend my warmest greetings and thanks to the organizers and host of this 14thHuman Resource and Skills Development (HRSD) Conference. It is always a pleasure and an honor to be invited to events such as this because it gives the Department an opportunity to reach out and deliver relevant and current information on the employment situation, as well as to share the earnest efforts of the government to facilitate school-to-work transition.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his 2015 State of the Nation Address, reported not only a positive, but an improving, labor market situation in the country in the past five years. He cited 2014 as the year during which the country recorded the lowest annual unemployment rate in the last decade. Further citing the latest survey round of the Philippine Statistical Authority’s Labor Force Survey, he said the employment situation continues to improve, something that hardly changed in the past administration.
We see good news in key employment indicators from 2010 to 2014 and in the April 2015 LFS—improving employment; decreasing unemployment and underemployment; and improving youth employment.
Still, big challenges remain to be overcome to achieve full realization of our national agenda of inclusive growth through decent and productive employment.
Through the years, it is a fact that almost half of the Philippines’ unemployed are the youth, aged 15 to 24 years old. The April 2015 LFS still validates this, with our youth unemployment rate still more than twice the national rate.
Also staring at us as a huge hurdle is the fact that while many have reached high school and college, they still remained unemployed. Less than one-half of the total unemployed have reached, or graduated, from high school. About one-third, on the other hand, have reached, or graduated, from college.
An ADB household survey in the Philippines in 2009 found there is a longer transition for young Filipinos who leave their schools or universities to pursue careers in the labor market: a college graduate takes one (1) year to find his first job and up to 2 years to find a regular job. The period is longer for a high school leaver who takes up to 3 years to find his first job and 4 years to find a regular wage job. It is as well reported that very few youth undertake skills training during the transition from school to work. Hence, many young people do not have the skills and attitudes necessary for success in the workplace.
The youth are seen as potential innovators and leaders in the present-day world of work. As job-skill mismatch is an issue in integrating the youth in the labor market, the government is putting human resource development, particularly among the youth, as the core of all policy reform initiatives. This prioritization is matched with huge budget allocation for education and training. The implementation of the K to 12, or Enhanced Basic Education Program of the DepEd, and the continuing budget increases in TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship, are evidences of this major policy shift.
In an era of regional and global integration, the labor market offers opportunities to senior high school graduates here in the Philippines and in many parts of the world. Our JobsFit Report, 2013-20120, tells us a number of in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations for TVET graduates. On its part, the Phil-JobNet, the government’s official job portal, registers thousands of occupations needing graduates of TESDA courses with national certifications.
The most recent initiative we at DOLE have embarked is the Philippine Employment Projections Modeling. With the support of the International Labour Organization, we hope to develop a Human Resource Development Plan to complement the requirements of the industry roadmaps spearheaded by the private sector, in coordination with DTI.
Preliminary results of the employment projection model project reveal high employment growth rates for aerospace, automotive, automotive parts, motorcycles, pulp and paper, chemicals and chemical products, and plastics. Meanwhile, negative employment outcomes are projected for furniture manufacturing, rubber, iron and steel sectors.This is linked to either slow output growth or high import growth, and/or to high productivity growth. Results of the project need further validation from the concerned industries and their stakeholders.
On the occupational demand side, there will be a high net employment growth in skilled and semi-skilled occupations linked to wholesale and retail trade, such as general managers and managing proprietors, models, salespersons, and demonstrators, and in unskilled occupations in the agriculture sector.
Employment growth will be high in skilled occupations linked to manufacturing, IT-BPM, and education, such as physicists, math and engineering professionals, and associate teaching professionals, although some can be found in semi-skilled occupations linked to manufacturing and construction sectors.
On a regional scale, an ILO-ADB study reported that in the Philippines, some 3.1 million jobs may be generated if proper measures are implemented by 2015.
The occupation with the highest projected growth rate is ships’ deck crew and related workers, a semi-skilled occupation. This reflects our strong presence in the maritime and shipbuilding industry. Of particular interest to senior high school and TVET graduates could be occupations mainly in agricultural, forestry and fishery; mining and construction; and service and sales which require low- to semi-skilled workers.
Note: Figures presented in the slide refer to total occupational changes and therefore include both expansion and replacement demand. They represent the midpoint of the projected range of total occupational demand flows between 2010 and 2025.
In relation to the ASEAN regional economic integration’s potential impact on industries, the growth sectors for post-2015, as identified by the ILO, ADB, and NEDA, overlap with those identified by the national Investment Priority Plan 2014-2016 and Key Employment Generators 2015-2020 identified by the DOLE. There is an overall positive outlook for the Philippine labor market in the area of agribusiness, construction, manufacturing, and services sectors.
However, regional integration could negatively impact on mining and mineral processing plant workers; handicraft workers; workers in chemical and photographic products plants; and machine operators. This is shown by the initial results of the DOLE-ILO Philippine Employment Modeling Project and in the study conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
Also, further regional integration beyond 2015 will always result to structural changes, which will be common and expected as economies grow, develop, and adjust; more so as integration with a more dynamic global economy continues to occur. Hence, some sectors are also projected to experience negative effects.
The Emerging Importance of Life Skills in the Modern-Day Work Place
So how do we prepare you from school/training-to-work transition?
Today’s life and work environments require far more than cognitive skills and content knowledge. The ability to navigate in the globally-competitive workplace requires students and jobseekers to pay rigorous attention to developing adequate soft skills, which includes communication, public speaking, conflict management, human relations, negotiations, teamwork, planning, and leadership.
Apart from managerial, technical, and trade skills, soft skills form part of core employability skills essential in developing a skilled workforce more competent, adaptable, and flexible to the demands of a larger labor market that transcends borders and opens up access to foreign talents.
While there is an emerging importance of soft skills in the present-day workplace, the current workforce, and even future workers, seems to be inadequate in this score. ILO-Asia Pacific, in a public working paper, reported that employers have been relating their observation of significant gaps in both technical and soft skills among talents in the ASEAN region. The overwhelming majority of recent reports on skill gaps in the ASEAN suggest that the lack of soft skills, such as time management, problem solving, creative thinking, and interpersonal communication, is a critical void in the skills of the region’s workforce.
Through JobStart Philippines Program, one of the country’s latest venture in addressing the job-skill matching and youth employment challenges, the DOLE helps young people jumpstart their careers by creating opportunities to improve their technical skills and develop the life skills necessary for success in today’s competitive workplace. Seeing the emerging importance of life skills in the modern-day world of work, JobStart includes training for these skills in its employment facilitation process. The model borrows good practices in employment facilitation services from Chile, Kenya, and the United Kingdom. A first in the Asian region, JobStart is a pilot project under the technical and financial assistance of ADB and the Government of Canada.
In partnership with SFI Group of Companies, the DOLE is initiating the Philippine Talent Map Initiative which identifies and examines the current trends and issues that both the academe and the industry face in terms of workforce development. By assessing and evaluating the 21st century competencies of participants, key strengths and weaknesses of learners (students, and trainees) and of the workforce (employed and unemployed) in terms of their preferences, career prospects, and must-have workplace competencies can be identified. For respondent trainees, we have tapped TESDA and its accredited training institutions to help us identify respondents for the Talent Map initiative.
We expect that the study could provide evidence of the gaps on foundational career readiness skills. The data can be used as basis in fine-tuning school and training curricula to be more responsive with the needs of industry. Teachers will be encouraged to guide students to engage in a more targeted learning approach through practical application of the concepts and theories discussed in the classroom. Likewise, guidance counselors and career advocates will have a framework in developing a robust career guidance program to improve career readiness skills of students.
For the participants, the study will provide relevant information in developing their targeted career pathways. They can use the career assessment results on their strengths and weaknesses to improve themselves and to possess the skills required by local and global industries.
The data can also be used to strengthen the linkage among key players in government, education (policy makers, school administrators, teachers, counselors, students, and parents), and industry (employers, human resource developers, and trainers), which is important in responding to current trends, issues, and challenges that create or widen academe-industry gap, and which in turn affect the Filipino workers’ employability, work and career readiness, and workforce development.
Getting a detailed skills and competency profile of the workforce would also provide key labor and employment stakeholders relevant and current LMI contained in our JobsFit Report, which is updated bi-annually. Further, when this profile is made available to government agencies, educational institutions and industries, it could help them out in the development of responsive programs that address skills gap, including an educational curriculum that is more adaptive and reflective of the workplace skills that students and candidates need.
In summary, the government’s initiatives focus mainly on human resource development with increased investments in social services consisting of health, education, and training. Education, coupled with industry-led training, is crucial to worker competitiveness. Through the K to 12 program, we are removing the bias against technical-vocational courses by integrating skills training and certification at the secondary education level.
The strengthened link between the government, academe, and industry assures us of industry-driven policies, standards, and guidelines in basic education, higher education, and training curricula.
The Philippine Qualifications Framework, which is an outcomes-based qualification framework, sets the standards for quality assurance, pathway/equivalencies/credits and transfer within the framework of life-long learning. This is similar to each country’s National Qualifications Framework which, when linked to the AQRF, will facilitate movement of labor and recognition of skills and qualifications within the ASEAN.
I emphasize: We continue to strengthen labor market institutions (network of career guidance counselors and advocates, PESO, education and training institutions) and to improve capacity to produce accurate, complete, and timely information on labor supply and demand, in partnership with the private sectors. We at the DOLE actively work in convergence with industry, education and training institutions, private sector institutions, and relevant national government agencies.
On a final note, I thank the participants to this conference for your attention, and encourage you, as our rallying cry, to “Follow the Guide, Tag a Career, and Like the Future”.
Maraming salamat at muli, magandang araw sa inyong lahat. Hangad ko inyong mabungang pagtitipon at marami pang tagumpay sa hinaharap.