Dole eyes 1,600 youth for pilot employment program

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


ONE thousand six hundred young Filipinos in Metro Manila, Pampanga, and Cavite are being eyed for the initial implementation of the JobStart Philippines program of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).

In a statement, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the government is looking to find employment for those 18-24 years of age in the pilot areas identified.

"JobStart's objective is to raise the youth job placement rate to 80 percent from the current 60-65 percent rate," Baldoz said.

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The four areas chosen for the JobStart pilot program are Quezon City with 900 allotted beneficiaries, Taguig City with 240, City of San Fernando, Pampanga with 360, and General Trias, Cavite with 100.

Currently, the labor chief related that 74 employers have already pledged internships for the youth beneficiaries in their companies.

Under JobStart, the youth beneficiaries shall receive full-cycle employment facilitation services that include career guidance and coaching; life skills training for eight days; technical skills training for up to three months; and company-based internships for up to six months.

Baldoz also bared that the interns will receive stipends of between P200 to P300 during their training and 75 percent of minimum wage during their six-month internship while the employers will receive P9,000 in training fee per intern they will accommodate.

She said the program would play a crucial role in addressing the present problem of youth unemployment in the country.

"The JobStart Program is a pivotal step in improving the youth employment situation in the country through the effective delivery of current labor market information, employment services, skills-jobs matching mechanisms, and other job search reforms," said Baldoz.

Baldoz said they are already concerned over the high number of young Filipinos not being able to find jobs as shown by the latest Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) Labor Force Survey (LFS).

"The fact remains that youth unemployment rate is half the national unemployment rate and, therefore, this is a challenge we all need to address," Baldoz said.

Based on the recent LFS, youth unemployment accounts for 49.8 percent of the country's total unemployed placed at 2.924 million.

The 1.456 million unemployed youth belonging to the 15-24 age bracket also accounted for 16 percent of the total youth labor force of 9.254 million. (HDT/Sunnex)

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