Lawmaker seeks more training, career services for fresh grads

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A THOMASIAN lawmaker is pushing for a bill mandating improved career counseling in higher education institutions (HEIs) to equalize job opportunities.

Senate Committee on Youth Chairman Sen. Joel Villanueva on Tuesday said fresh graduates who come from poor families should be given opportunities similar to those who went to expensive schools.

“[We need] to create an equal field for young job seekers and fresh graduates who need to work immediately to help their family,” Villanueva told the Varsitarian.

Villanueva said fresh graduates should not be burdened with fees to obtain requirements for employment.

“They already have a lot to go through to get employed. The least we could do is to encourage them to get jobs,” he said during a Senate Youth Committee hearing last Aug. 22.

Villanueva filed Senate Bill 1426 or the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act of 2017 in May. It seeks to provide career counseling programs in technical vocational institutions and HEIs to help end employment woes in the country.

The former Technical Education Skills and Development Authority chief said an extra training program will be offered to first-time job seekers to help them land jobs.

“There should be career counseling programs where the importance of disseminating the labor market information systems must be implemented to determine jobs that are in-demand,” he said.

Jeza Rodriguez, secretary general of Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, said HEIs should also have “inclusive” career services for graduating students, saying some programs were “inadequate.”

“There are no decent career services for graduating students in [universities]. There should also be more important employment preparedness programs in university career orientations” Rodriguez said during the hearing.

Figures from Philippine Statistics Authority showed a 5.5-percent unemployment rate in 2016.

One-third of the unemployed persons were high school graduates and more than one-fifth were college graduates. 

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