“One of the major drawbacks that confront the Philippine labor market is jobs-and-skills mismatch. People earnestly seek jobs but overlook the fact that their skills do not meet the requirements needed by employers. It is for this reason that we are trying to address the problem early on by advising our dear students to choose their schools and courses wisely,” Baldoz said.
Citing the Project Jobsfit: DOLE 2020 Vision, a research study that provides a map that guides jobseekers to their dream jobs and employers to their ideal workers through appropriate and relevant signals, Baldoz said there are four industries which are seen to provide the most number of employment opportunities in the long term, namely, creative industries, strategic farming and fishing, power and utilities, and renewable energy.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) reported that large numbers of the 2,937,847 students enrolled for academic year 2010-2011 are still concentrated in certain courses, to wit: business administration and related courses with 785, 305 students, or 26.73 percent; education, science and teacher training, with 400,912 students, or 13.65 percent; and medical and health allied with 363,147 students or 12.36 percent share.
"This uneven concentration of students in these fields contribute to jobs-skills mismatch after graduation," said Baldoz.
Meanwhile, those courses which will most likely equip students with desired skills tailor-fit for emerging industries comprise only a minimum share of student enrollees, to wit: information technology-related discipline, with 376,046 students, or 12.80 percent; engineering and technology, with 354,218 students, or 12.06 percent; and other disciplines with 658,219 students or 22.40 percent share.
“It’s no secret that employers are looking for people with skills more relevant to the current economy, and one of the greatest things future jobseekers can do is prepare themselves for this shift. There are a multitude of opportunities out there. The key is to make the right choices,” Baldoz said.
With this aim, the government, the academe, and industry are intensely working on a Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP) where high school students, parents, and schools will have easy access to relevant information which includes awareness on current work practices and potential job opportunities to ensure effective career choices.
On its part, the DOLE, through its Bureau of Local Employment, has produced a package of labor market information, such as the 101 Career Guides to guide high school students towards technical-vocational and college careers that holds the potential of getting the career holder employed after graduation.