MANILA – The Philippine labor market has not fully recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic despite government statements that employment figures are now close to pre-pandemic levels, a said the founder of a job search application on Wednesday.
PasaJob founder and CEO Kristen Mariano said that although the government says enough jobs have been created to make up for those lost in 2020, the quality of jobs has not improved in the past. pre-pandemic levels.
In an interview with the ANC, Mariano said the jobs created cannot match the jobs lost in terms of quality.
“The new jobs created by the government are more informal and irregular jobs. They don’t really replace the jobs that were lost before the pandemic, and therefore, I think we still need to re-train and reassign people to more skilled jobs. . jobs, ”Mariano said.
Last April, the Asian Development Bank also said the pandemic could have a lasting impact on jobs in the Philippines, as job creation shifted to less stable and lower quality jobs.
With the Delta variant of COVID-19 now in the Philippines, Mariano said basic low-skilled jobs are under threat again, especially if the government institutes new quarantine restrictions.
He noted that retraining is vital for workers, as more skilled jobs have proven to be more stable during the pandemic.
According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippines has an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent in May. This translates to 3.73 million unemployed aged 15 and over. That’s 408,000 less from April’s total of 4.14 million.
Unemployment peaked in April 2020 at an all-time high of 17.7% when the Philippine government instituted the strictest levels of quarantine restrictions to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This equates to 7.3 million unemployed.
Mariano said there are two things that keep Filipinos from getting better jobs, lack of skills and lack of information. Lack of information is what he described as the limits to the ability of job seekers to seek employment. He said the jobs they are looking for are likely to be available, they just don’t know where to look or how to get them.
The skills gap, meanwhile, has been raised by the government and several industries such as the pandemic-resilient BPO sector.
“It’s not that the quality of workers that we have has suddenly deteriorated during the pandemic. It’s just that the skill sets, the demands of the industry have changed. move towards more skilled jobs, ”he said. .
Mariano also cited a recent report indicating that around 25 percent of workers will need to be reassigned or re-qualified for these new roles.
“In terms of the job market, we are seeing an increased demand for roles in health, also from the STEM industry, which would be science, technology, engineering and math. ”
Mariano said technology skills are in high demand, such as digital marketing and data analytics, and these are new skills that the workforce needs to learn.
“In terms of the skills required, they should be a combination of technical and non-technical skills. Soft skills will involve, among other skills, the willingness and ability to actually learn these new skills. It is not an easy task.”
The Pasajob app was started by Mariano with the help of former Senator Bam Aquino. It offers up to P 8,000 in user referral fees which help match job seekers with employers successfully.
Mariano said that after 3 months of operation, the Pasajob app now has 10,000 users.
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