GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 13 June) – A total of 512 job applicants were “hired on-the-spot” by various local and overseas employers during the Kalayaan or Independence Day job fair held in nearby Koronadal City on Wednesday.
Dominica Millan, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-South Cotabato provincial director, said Thursday such figure comprise about 40 percent of the 1,269 residents from various parts of Region 12 that participated in the job fair.
The activity highlighted the region’s celebration of the 115th year of the country’s independence.
The fair, which was organized by DOLE Region 12 as part of the nationally-coordinated Kalayaan job fair series, was held at the Gaisano Grand shopping mall in Koronadal City.
Millan said 1,027 job seekers registered and applied for available local jobs while 242 others sought overseas work opportunities.
She said 442 of the applicants were immediately hired for skilled and professional job placements locally and 65 for abroad.
“Those who were hired on-the-spot were already advised by their employers to immediately report for work,” she said.
The official said the total on-the-spot hires in Wednesday’s Kalayaan job fair surpassed the 411 recorded during the pre-Labor Day job fair held at the same venue in late April.
She attributed the increase to the accessibility of the venue and the holding of the event during a declared special non-working holiday.
Millan said that aside from the job fair, several attached agencies of DOLE also set their kiosks at the venue to provide advices to job seekers and other interested residents.
She said among them was the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), which offered job seekers with alternatives regarding the appropriate skills to pursue so they can easily get hired in the next fair.
Aside from the job fair, DOLE-12 also held the 1st Regional Career Advocacy Congress that was attended by around 200 representatives and officials of local companies and industries, career guidance counselors, public employment service officers and officials of colleges and universities.
Ofelia Domingo, DOLE Region 12 director, said they mainly discussed various problems and strategic solutions to the problem on job mismatches within the region.
“The participants committed to work out some measures that will cushion or minimize the job mismatches to also help address our problem on unemployment,” she said.
DOLE-12 had been pushing for the alignment of college courses as well as technical or skills trainings offered by colleges, universities and technical-vocational institutions in the region with the needs of local industries to address the mismatch.
A study earlier conducted by the agency cited that the agribusiness and aquamarine industries were expected to be the top job destinations for skilled workers in area for the coming years as both were seen to dominate the labor market for the next 10 years.
Aside from the two industries, a surge in employment opportunities was also seen in the region’s oil palm, mining, and tourism industries.