High demand for skilled workers in Davao

(Photo by Macky Lim)
(Photo by Macky Lim)

A BUSINESS leader is worried that the high employment rate in the region and lack of skilled individuals may slow down the growth of construction industry.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PCCII) regional governor for Davao Region Arturo Milan said although the national unemployment rate is at four percent, he observed construction companies and developers are constantly looking for skilled workers.

“While there is a national statistics that says 4 percent ang unemployment rate but if you go around there is so many wanted electricians, carpenters because of the many constructions that are happening diri lang sa atoang syudad (here in our city). Daghan kaayo og nangita (There is high demand),” he said.

He said this would impact the region’s capacity to implement government projects and many developers are sourcing manpower from Luzon to finish their constructions.

“Mu-impact sad ni siya sa atong absorptive capacity to implement government projects. Even [in] private construction kay kung kulang na tag trabahante. unsaon pagsugod sa mga projects kung kulang. Ang ako lang fear is that we have so much infrastructure projects in Davao (How can private construction firms start their projects if they lack the manpower. My fear is that we have a so much infrastructure projects in Davao),” Milan said.

Although the low unemployment rate is a positive indicator of economic growth, he said it could also mean shortage of skilled workers.

“You know it is very difficult to get warm bodies now because [they are already employed] We were looking at that 4 percent. Asa man ning 4 percent kay mutan-aw ka aning mga property developers, kanang naay mga projects, puro wanted (Property developers are always looking for people to work on their projects),” he said.

“And probably katong 4 percent di lang gyud to manarbaho kay wa man nangita siguro kay kung niadto pa, naabot na sila (Or the 4 percent do not really want to work),” he added.

He said the chamber is already looking for creative ways to address this challenge with the help of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

“We partnered with Tesda on enterprise-based training (EBT) para makaprovide og skills. Kunyari sa construction, katong existing nila, itrain na lang how to upgrade their skills from general labor to specialized like masonry to tile placement. Dili na lang tong general worker, Para maupgrade pud nila ang ilang income capacity,” he said.

As of April 2019, Philippine Statistics Authority posted a 3.1 percent unemployment rate in Davao Region. The region also posted a 96.9 employment rate with 58.2 percent of total labor force participation rate. (RAG)


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