1 million graduates face job-skill mismatch

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THE estimated 1.2 million students who will graduate from college and finish vocation courses this month will find it difficult to land jobs because of a growing mismatch between their training and the skills required by most
employers, according to the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).

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Aside from job-skill mismatch, new graduates are also faced with low wages, short-term contractualized work and unsafe workplaces.

“We don’t want to give these young workforce any false hope. We don’t want to discourage them either but these are the issues that confront our new graduates who will become the new breed of the millenial workforce,” Alan Tanjusay, ALU spokesman, said on Monday.

He pointed out that job mismatch is the prime driver of underemployment.

A Labor Force Survey in October 2016 showed close to eight million workers needed another job to augment their daily income.

Tanjusay said the job-skills mismatch continues to grow, resulting in stiffer competition.

Graduates, he said, are also confronted with low wages. The purchasing value of the P491 daily wage for workers in the National Capital Region area has eroded to P363 a day.

Millenial workers also face prevalent job contractualization arrangement. Otherwise known as “555” (five months contract) and “Endo” (End of contract), contractualization is a work arrangement where workers are terminated after five months and then re-hired for another five months.

“Seven out of ten of the current 41 million work force are contractuals. Workers who were contractuals more than five years ago remain contractuals until today, getting the same entry-level pay without security of tenure and the benefits that they supposed to enjoy. That’s how bad and massive contractualization is,” Tanjusay said.

The Department of Labor and Employment’s Labor Market Information report for 2013 to 2020 identified key 275 occupations as in-demand and 102 occupations as hard-to-fill from among key and emerging industries.

In-demand occupations refer to active occupations/job vacancies posted or advertised recurrently. These occupations have high turnover/replacement rate and are essential in the operations of a company.

These include abaca pulp processor, admino programmer, banana growing worker, bangus diver, banquet supervisor, bamboo materials craftsman, fish cage caretaker, groundskeeper, multi-lingual service crew, mussel grower, pointman, reefman, and whale shark interaction officer.

Hard-to-fill occupations include 2-D digital animator, agricultural designer, bioinformatics analyst, clean-up artist, cosmetic dentist, cosmetic surgeon, cuisine chef, ethanol machine processing operator, multi-lingual tour guide, in-between artist (animation), in-between checker (animation), and mechatronics engineer.

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