Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has urged closer cooperation among participating agencies in the JobStart Philippines project in building a strong labor market information system, or LMIS, to achieve the goals of the undertaking.
She also said having a strong LMIS will improve accessibility to, and use of valuable labor market information that is key to addressing structural unemployment and jobs-skills mismatch.
“Indeed, building on a strong LMIS as a foundation to linking all information and online databases of the government is a good way to capture and present all available statistics and information when it comes to mapping out supply and demand for skills and other relevant information which constitute the labor market,” Baldoz said in her message at the National Consultation Workshop on the LMIS Action Plan, held Monday at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila.
The national consultation workshop, organized by the Bureau of Local Employment, the DOLE’s lead agency in the JobsStart Philippines project, aims to solicit inputs to the LMIS Action Plan and to assess its feasibility.
“This consultation is an opportunity to discuss how we can work together to identify key labor market signals and indicators to ensure the seamless flow of LMI both at the national and regional levels,” Baldoz told her audience composed of officials and representatives of the Professional Regulation Commission, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Labor Communications Office, DOLE-NCR, DOLE Regional Offices Nos. 1, 2,3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, Caraga, CAR, and NCR; as well as the Public Employment Service Office Managers of Quezon City, Taguig, and San Fernando, Pampanga.
Mr. Kelly Bird, Principal Economist of the Asian Development Bank of the Philippines, and Ms. Narcisa Rivera of the Embassy of Canada were present at the national consultation.
The LMIS Action Plan was developed for the JobStart Philippines Project, a flagship program jointly funded and supported by the Asian Development Bank under its Employment Facilitation for Inclusive Growth and by the Government of Canada.
JobStart Philippines Project seeks to boost job creation in the Philippines by filling up the capacity gap for labor market policy development and the delivery of employment services.
“The JobStart Philippines Project aims to enhance the employability of young adults and improve their integration into productive employment in two ways: (1) provide knowledge on labor market information and effective strategies for job searches; and (2) develop skills and values that would make them employable,” said Baldoz.
The DOLE chief said the JobStart Philippines Project will be piloted in four PESOs in the National Capital Region, specifically in Quezon City and Taguig; Region 3 (San Fernando), and Region 4-A (Gen. Trias, Cavite), with 1,600 youth beneficiaries who will be provided with life skills training, enhanced career guidance services, vocational training, and internships with employers for up to six months.
She said the project emanated from studies showing slow school-to-work transition, as well as from employers’ feedback on the lack of life skills of entry-level workers, poor attitude towards work, poor critical thinking, and inadequate communication skills.
“Today, with less experience and fewer skills than many adults, our young people are being alienated from employment opportunities; youth unemployment rate is alarmingly high at 17.3 percent. As an emerging economy, our country has a large army of educated unemployed, and our unemployment rate is higher among those who finished high school up to those who reached and finished college. Certainly, there is a need to implement a comprehensive Career Guidance Advocacy Program and LMIS geared towards improving the competencies and job matching of the youth and ensuring that they are enterprise-ready in an increasingly complex knowledge-based economy,” Baldoz explained.
“As we try to make employment facilitation services more accessible and transparent to the general public, the DOLE has enhanced its PhilJobNet system, the government’s official online job portal, and has established a Skills Registry System (SRS) at the grassroots level that enables the local government units to improve the referral, employment coaching, training, and LMI services of their PESOs in the community,” Baldoz said, finally. (PNA)