Investing in the employment of young people is important to poverty reduction and the country’s inclusive economic growth, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) Brief.
The paper said youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) and slow in school-to-work transition is a challenge in the Philippines and the Southeast Asia and Pacific region.
It attributed to several factors contributing to the persistence of youth in NEET rates in the Philippines, particularly striking in the Visayas and Mindanao region. These include job skills mismatch in the labor market, a lack of labor market information available to young people, and insufficient employment services for at-risk youth.
The ADB Brief said many of these at-risk young people were from low-income households with limited social networks.
To address this problem, it underscored the need to invest in the employment of youth in an effort to “realize the potential of human capital in terms of wealth and savings, leading to huge economic and also ultimately, social gains.”
“Employment generation is valuable to inclusive economic growth. Young people are more vulnerable to low wages, insecurity, or lack of social protection. An effective transition to the labor market and access to decent employment will allow young people to use their energy and creativity to foster social cohesion and bring their families out of poverty,” it noted.
The ADB Brief said JobStart Philippines (JSP) has assisted young Filipinos in starting their careers, in support skills enhancement through formal or technical training to enable them to become more responsive to the demands of the job market, and in providing better integration opportunities into productive employment.
The JobStart cycle is conducted twice a year during April–May and October–November starting with 200 to 300 beneficiaries per local government unit (LGU) per year.
The program includes 50 LGUs targeting 50,000 out-of-school youths by 2020.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has already signed memorandums of understanding with 32 partner LGUs to implement JSP as of December 2017. An additional six LGUs will join the program annually from 2018 to 2020.
In 2011, DOLE collaborated with the ADB to design and develop JobStart Philippines, a pilot project assisting at-risk youth to become job-ready. PNA