Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, on Tuesday called on the government to address the job-skills mismatch in the country given the thousands of jobs to be generated this year under the Build, Build, Build program.
“It has been our consistent call on the concerned government agencies—Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)—to up-skill our workers and address the problem of job-skills mismatch which becomes imperative with the implementation of the administration’s Build-Build-Build program,” Villanueva said.
According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the administration’s infrastructure campaign will generate an average of 1.1 million jobs annually, mostly from the construction sector.
NEDA also expects over 820,000 jobs to be created for this year given the number of infrastructure projects rolled out nationwide.
“There should be a strong academe-industry linkage and our workers should be skills-ready for the 1.1 million jobs projected to be created annually, or for the 820,000 jobs to be generated this year under the Build, Build, Build program,” the senator said.
“I think the DOLE should already be reporting on the progress of the programs addressing the job-skills mismatch and TESDA on the tech-voc trainings. The agencies should already be working on the identified hard-to-fill jobs, among others,” Villanueva added.
Further, Villanueva reiterated his call to pass a law that would democratize access to skills training which would help more job-seeking individuals be successful in landing jobs that match their skills.
“In the Senate, we have already passed on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 1431 or the proposed Tulong Trabaho Act which aims to make tech-voc accessible to all and ensure that the individuals are provided with the right skill sets to obtain in-demand jobs,” Villanueva said.
Under the bill, Villanueva proposes a Philippine Labor Force Competencies Competitiveness Program which will be established based on Labor Market Intelligence Reports. The senator emphasized that the measure is industry-driven which ensures that individuals meet the demands of industries and equip them the right skills for the job.
The measure has already been approved in the Senate on third and final reading last May 30, 2017.
“Once enacted into law, we can address the gap of unemployment in the country by providing free tech-voc training and improving the skills of Filipinos who chose not to pursue tertiary education,” the senator stressed.
“We hope that our counterpart in the House of Representatives will soon pass a similar measure which will address job-skills mismatch and guarantee decent jobs for every Filipino,” Villanueva said.