Pampanga employers join DOLE, ADB, and CIDA in JobStart project launch

MANILA, March 23 (PNA) — On 26 March 2014, San Fernando City, Pampanga-based employers and employees within the “catchment area” of the City’s Public Employment Service Office, or PESO, will get a preview of an exciting program in a one-day event: how they, as employers, can take part in shaping the careers of young Filipinos living within, or around, the city.

The program is JobStart Philippines and the event is the JobStart Philippines Employers’ Summit, to be held at the Hotel Graceland in San Fernando City.

“In this Summit,” says Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, “we are offering San Fernando City employers an opportunity to participate in this youth employment project that will not only help them address their human resource needs, but involve them in shaping the careers of young Pampangos.”

JobStart Philippines is a collaborative undertaking of the DOLE, Asian Development Bank, and the Government of Canada through its Canadian International Development Assistance, or CIDA.

It was conceived to enhance the employability of young high school and college graduates by assisting them in making informed career decisions, by giving them a chance to improve their technical skills, and by helping them develop soft or life skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive workplace.

The City of San Fernando and its PESO are also involved in the Summit, and in the program, as partners.

Dominique R. Tutay, Director of the Bureau of Local Employment, the agency of the DOLE implementing JobStart Philippines, says it is an innovative approach to helping people in the city get a good start in their careers.

“The ADB-CIDA assistance to the program will enable the DOLE to partner with employers through a training internship. Employers who participate in the program will receive cash grants, in return for taking on high school or college graduates as interns for six months,” Tutay said.

“The exciting part is that the prospective interns will be provided with life skills and technical and vocational training in preparation for their internships with the employers. That’s a boost to employability,” she added.

Kelly Bird, a project manager of the ADB, observes that JobStart Philippines comes at an opportune time.

“We are seeing at present a rising number of unemployed young Filipinos, one of the reasons of the phenomenon called jobs-skills mismatch. Businesses prefer to hire those with experience and jobs fit skills, so the opportunity for new graduates to get hired is less. This program is for them,” he said.

At the Summit, implementers will present to employers the program design for San Fernando and explain how they can participate.

Also, there will be an open forum, the first in a series of similar activity lined up in the program’s three other pilot areas–Quezon City, Taguig City, and General Trias in Cavite–early next month.

Secretary Baldoz said JobStart Philippines is a boost to the DOLE’s strategy of facilitating job matching and placement of workers which seeks to help the Department realize the outcome of enhanced employability of workers and competitiveness of enterprises.

“The DOLE works to make it easy and fast for jobseekers to find jobs that fits their qualifications, interests, and career inclinations,” she said. (PNA)