Fresh grads suffer in education, industry mismatch

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Friday, December 13, 2013


WHEN there is a mismatch between the industry and the academic sector, fresh graduates would find it difficult to get jobs locally, according to Justin Raagas, local coordinator of the Higher Education and Productivity project (HEP).

HEP is a partnership between USAid-Philippines and Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) that aims to address the skills gap and mismatch problem of the higher education in the Philippines.

“When mismatch in the industry and academic sector happens, graduates will not supply the needs of the local industries making it hard for them to find a job,” said Raagas.

She added that, for instance, there are a lot of students taking Bachelor of Science in Nursing course although it is not the demand of the local industries.

Raagas said while it is important to take course that are highly needed abroad, it is also important to look for courses that are needed in the local economy.

Employment

Based on the data presented by National Economic Development Authority-Northern Mindanao (Neda), the services, agricultural and industrial sectors are still the highest in terms of employment opportunities.

The Neda report estimated that 1.898 individuals in the region are employed – 48.8-percent in the services sector, 39.2-percent in agriculture and 12-percent in the industry sector.

Meanwhile, the results of the focus group discussions (FGD) conducted by PBEd stated that agro-industry sector belongs to one of the top in their growth projections.

Ralph Paguio, of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (Oro Chamber), said the city is the center for the service industry.

PBEd exective director Love Basillote said even the tourism industry in Misamis Oriental has to source its employees in the city.

As to what jobs in the services sector is available in Cagayan de Oro, she said: “Hotel services, education services, medical services, tourism services, trade services and transportation services.”

A chief economic development specialist of Neda told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Thursday that the number of unemployed individuals in the region increased by 122,000 as of July 2013.

Effective education

Chito Salazar, President of PBEd, said education is a way to improve the economic conditions of the families and students should strive to finish schooling.

However, Salazar added that although schooling is not easy but it would be harder if one will not find a job after he graduates.

“But our goal is to make education more effective. The kind of education that will land graduates into jobs to raise their economic situation,” said Salazar, adding that it is one of the goals of their project that would last for three years.

Basillote added that the graduates should be fitting to the services available in the city, and those graduates should be accepted by the service providers.

She said science-based courses in agriculture and engineering will be needed more in the future.

Salazar added that educational institutions should address the needs of industries for more workers.

“Education really contributes by providing the skills and competency for industries,” Salazar said.

He said companies and the academic institution should work together to have a win-win solution to the mismatch in the academe and industries.
Father Roberto Yap, S.J., the President of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, said the project fits well to the mission of the school which seeks to form students to become more productive.

Yap is one of the representatives from the academic sector apart from the students coming from various colleges and universities in the city.

“We are eager to be part of it,” he said.

PBEd

PBEd is a non-government organization that pushed the curriculum reform in the country in the in the form of the K-12 education program.

The organization also plans on establishing the Industry-Academe Government council (AIG) which will compose high-level members from the academic and industrial community.

One of its goals is to increase the involvement of the industries in education.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 14, 2013.

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