MANILA, Philippines -- Asserting that there is no lack of jobs in the Philippines but only a job-skill mismatch, the Department of Labor and Employment has listed down 29 hard-to-fill jobs in eight sectors.
At the National Human Resource Conference at the Manila Hotel Wednesday, the labor department said jobs that had vacancies but were difficult to fill were those for: geologists, mining engineers, and metallurgical engineers in the mining sector; cooks, tour guides, reservations officers for hotels and travel agencies, butlers, and baristas in the hotel and restaurant sector; welders, fabricators, pipe fitters, marine electricians, and all other jobs related to shipbuilding sector; entrepreneurs for the agribusiness sector; marine officers, seafarers, and culinary chefs for the maritime sector;
Doctors, nurses, massage therapists, and spa therapists in the health, wellness, and medical tourism sector; architects, engineers, heavy equipment mechanics, and other allied workers in the construction sector; engineers, accountants, animators, programmers, contact center agents, and medical transcribers and editors in the cyber services sector.
At the same time, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said a total of nine million jobs -- four million in the country and five million abroad -- were available from 2006 to 2010.
"One of the most pressing social issues in the country is the outcry for jobs. Media and social discourse can make us believe that there are no more jobs left in the country. The reality, however, is that there are plenty of jobs waiting to be filled up by qualified workers," he said.
"What we found out is that there are sectors that are in need of workers who possess the critical skills required by the respective industries," he added.
In its presentation, DoLE defined hard-to-fill jobs as those that were "highly demanded and emerging jobs where supply shortages occur based on recruitment and hiring experiences of the key informants."
The labor department sourced the mismatch problem principally to low enrolment in the courses for these jobs due to lack of interest, high cost and long duration of training, lack of higher education and technical-vocational institutions that offer these programs, lack of qualified faculty and trainers, and lack of or inadequate training facilities.
These result in the poor performance in licensure exams, especially in the engineering and medical professions.
To address this problem, the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority agreed to implement several interventions this year and next: to reintegrate skills courses in basic education; add language and information technology units in higher education; and adopt uniform international standards for accreditation.
(Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer)