Stephen Weaver, the Head of Cooperation of the Embassy of Canada to the country visited Palawan on Thursday to assess the impact of the implementation of the employment facilitation program “Jobstart Philippines”.
Jobstart Philippines, which is being funded by Canada, is a flagship program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to improve employment facilitation systems through interventions that can support regulatory reviews, capacity expansion, and policy development in Public Employment Services Offices (PESOs).
Bong Lopez, manager of the City PESO, said it is designed to carry out a pilot project that would assist the school-to-work transition.
He said Weaver visited the three establishments in Puerto Princesa that partnered with Jobstart on the training of selected at-risk youths, namely: Sitel Philippines, Palawan Adventist Hospital, and Astoria Hotels and Resorts Palawan.
Weaver reportedly asked the beneficiaries if Jobstart has been effective in making them learn the basic skills they need to be qualified for hiring.
These include learning how to properly write resumes, how to market themselves to potential employers, and what appropriate attitudes should be displayed at work.
“Kinausap sila (trainees) under the Jobstart Philippines kung may natutunan sila. Positive naman ang response, dahil natuto sila ng mga skills na kailangan nila sa employment,” he said.
Lopez disclosed that among the positive results that Weaver discovered during his evaluation was the absorption to work of some 18-24 young individuals to the three establishments.
“Like Sitel, may mga na-regularize na employees doon as part ng trainees Jobstart. Sa Adventist Hospital, nagtapos na sila ng technical training and internship, and then sa Astoria Hotels and Resorts Palawan, nagtapos na rin ang technical training nila. Majority of our Jobstart trainees in Astoria Hotels and Resorts Palawan ay 21 or 22 out 32 ay mare-regularize na,” he said.
Those under the program will have to go through Life Skills Training, Technical Training, and the Internship, which will be for done for three months with a daily allowance of P200 each.
“May P200 silang allowance from DOLE for the trainee. Ang life skills training, then technical training first and after that, proceed sila sa internship,” he said.
But he also said that while the program is helpful in making the youth employable, it is not yet implemented throughout Palawan, especially in the municipalities.
This is because they do not yet have the required number of employers, which is necessary to become a partner of Jobstart.
“Ang problema kasi hindi lahat may enough na employers para sa program. Hindi pa iyon nai-implement doon. Dito lang ito sa Puerto Princesa ginaganap since 2016 because maraming employers sa lugar,” Lopez said.