DOLE 11 eyes reducing job mismatch, unemployment

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 February) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 11 will roll out Jobstart Philippines in two more cities and one municipality in Davao Region to address job mismatch and unemployment this year.

DOLE regional employment spokesperson Lauriele P. Arce told Kapehan sa Dabaw that the second phase will cover Digos City and Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur and Panabo City in Davao del Norte with around 600 more beneficiaries aged 18 to 24.

“Our aim is to improve their employability and to make our unemployed youth more productive employees in different industries,” she said.

She added they want to train youth “at risk”, particularly high school graduates, to increase their skills and help them land a job faster, which normally takes three to four years.

Qualified “JobStarters” will undergo 10 days of life skills training, up to three months of JobStart-funded technical training and another three months of work experience with a “matched” employer/establishment in wholesale and retail, hotel and restaurant, Information and Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM), and agriculture.

The interns will receive 75% of the minimum wage from the companies but those who undergo the early stages of trainings will get P200 a day, Arce said.

Minimum wage for workers employed by non-agriculture/industrial/commercial and retail service employing more than 10 workers is P340 (P335 basic and P5 cost of living allowance); P335 for workers in agriculture sector (P335 and P5 COLA);  and retail/service employing not more than 10 workers, with P315 (P310 basic and P5COLA).

“We refer them to different establishments. If seen that they are job ready, then they will for wage employment,” Arce said.

“There are job starters who have developed their skills because of trainings they undergo, both soft and hard skills,” she said.

Some 229 JobStarters are set to finish the full cycle of the second rollout of the JobStart Philippines program in Davao Region – 109 in Tagum City next week and 120 in Davao City in April. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)