Sunday, April 22, 2018

Youth group concerned at lack of jobs for new graduates

(Photo from Rappler)
The youth group Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan (PMK) expressed concern at the lack of jobs awaiting the hundreds of thousands of new graduates this year. Tomorrow, PMK is holding a protest at the offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) to highlight its call for decent jobs for young workers.

“Are there enough jobs for 600,000 college graduates and thousands more of K-12 graduates immediately entering the labor force? Further, are there decent jobs awaiting them or just more of the usual endo work?,” asked Rea Foliente of PMK.

PMK is the youth wing of the militant Partido Manggagawa. PM is among the labor groups active in the campaign to end contractualization and has criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for his refusal to sign an EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment relations.

PMK is raising a red flag as the World Bank recently released a report about the lack of quality jobs in the country and the worsening inequality as a result. The group is likewise questioning ECOP for the Jobstreet data that only 24% of employers are willing to hire K-12 graduates.

Foliente insisted that “In 2016, 78% of the jobless were 15 to 34 years old. Half of them were aged 24 years old or below. A diploma is no antidote to unemployment as 34% of the unemployed had actually gone to college and 20% were college graduates!”

She added that “The youth challenge the DTI and ECOP to show us the numbers. How many graduates can be absorbed in the labor force? And will the work be regular or dead-end contractual jobs in agencies?”

“Another employers organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier questioned that the minimum number of hours required of senior high school students are not enough to train and qualify them for entry-level work,” Foliente explained.

Some 100 PMK and women members of PM together with contingents from the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Labor Union will join the protest tomorrow against the DTI and ECOP for their pro-endo lobby and scare tactics against regular jobs. The rally comes after the announcement of Malacanang that President Duterte is not signing an EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment.

Foliente cited the International Labour Organization (ILO) report titled “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017: Paths to a better working future,” that stated that youth unemployment rate for Southeast Asia and the Pacific is seen to rise from 11.7 percent in 2016 to 12 percent in 2017, and to 12.2 percent in 2018. 

April 22, 2018

Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan

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