Only one out of five high school graduates in Metro Manila and Cebu City lands a job within a year of leaving school, a study by the Asian Development Bank said.
Despite the Philippines’ average annual growth of 6.3 percent between 2010 and 2016, indicating an improvement in the employment market, the country continues to have a youth employment problem stemming from a slow school-to-work transition, the ADB study found.
To alleviate the situation, ADB said it will provide a $300-million loan to support the government’s roll out services assisting Filipino youth in finding gainful employment.
This is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point economic agenda and 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan.
“The Philippines has a young population with an average of 25 years. Therefore, creating wage jobs for the youth is vital to reducing poverty and income inequality,” ADB Southeast Asia Department Director for Public Management Kelly Bird said in a statement on Tuesday.
The government, meanwhile, identified the constraints on the high school graduates’ transition from school to work. Among these are inadequate and underfunded government employment services and weakness in post-high school training.
The Philippines enacted a law in 2015, which mandated the institutionalization of public employment services (PESOs) in local governments and provided funding for this.
The amendments to the Special Program for the Employment of Students Act has also been passed, providing poor students with paid internships to keep them in college. The government also implemented a law institutionalizing and funding the nationwide rollout of the JobStart Philippines program providing for skills training and internships to out-of-school youth.
“The program will include a series of government policy actions to raise the youth employment rate. It will support the government’s efforts to restructure its PESO and labor market activation programs and roll out new services to assist the youth and strengthen training and apprenticeship programs,” the ADB said.