FILE PHOTO: Construction workers (PHOTOVILLE International / Ritchie Tongo)
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Employers group revealed the huge necessity for qualified workers, especially in the construction industry.
According to Arturo Guerrero III, President of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP,) there is currently a high demand for sanitation and aviation engineers, welders, electricians especially because of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
In fact, Guerrero said, one construction company is actually in need of around 20,000 to 30,000 workers. However, they do not know where to get the manpower.
There is also high demand for medical and service workers such as hotel employees due to the country’s booming tourism industry. Employers are wondering where newly graduates could have gone.
ECOP encourages job seekers to navigate job portals such as jobstreet.com because employers commonly resource employees through them.
“Alam namin kung saan kami pupunta na mga sites. Alam namin kung sinong pupuntahan. Ang problema yung aplikante hindi niya alam kung saan siya pupunta,” Guerrero said.
(We know which sites to go to and who to approach. The problem is, the applicants don’t know where to go.)
Guerrero also stressed that one challenge for applicants nowadays is not passing international standards such as English proficiency requirements for call center agents.
“It will take 2 weeks to 1 month for us to train them in English proficiency before they can be employed,” Guerrero explained.
In line with this, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair Prospero De Vera said they are now consulting the employers’ sector to help in crafting an appropriate curriculum based on industry requirements.
CHED also plans to strengthen its guidance counselling program to properly guide the students as to which field or what course they will proceed to.
“Who is the key determinant of the outcomes? It is the employers it is those who will use your graduates. So they must have a say in the skill and competencies that every graduate must have,” De Vera said.
Meanwhile, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is focusing on the training of scholars in the field of agri-business, health and wellness, hotel and restaurant as well as tourism. However, they are concentrating more on agriculture and construction as these are the industries with very high demand for workers.
“Sa agrikultura nakasalalay ang ating pagkain araw-araw at ang construction naman dahil almost 100,000 ang ating pangangailangan,” said Alvin Feliciano of TESDA’s Educational Skills Development Department.
(Agriculture provides our daily food supply while our construction industry is in need of almost 100,000 workers.) – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo