The Philippines’s Department of Labor and Employment-Cordillera Administrative Region has relaunched the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-backed “JobStart” program for a second year in Baguio. The program aims to give employees a greater chance of being hired and to address the job skills mismatch problem, according to Jesus Elpidio Atal Jr., assistant regional director of the DOLE-CAR. Through JobStart, beneficiaries can get specific training from a company, with a chance of being hired after they complete the training. The six-month program includes an introductory life skills training course, followed by technical training by a company and an internship with on-the-job training. The training will be industry-specific to suit the vacancies in the participating firms.
Atal explained that schools are producing skills not required in the job market, which has led the DOLE to work with the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Authority to develop initiatives like JobStart. Baguio does not have enough talent for the IT-BPO, agriculture and agri-related, tourism and construction sectors, said Julienne Fortunato, DOLE-CAR’s JobStart focal person. She added that the city is lucky to be able to continue the program for a second year. JobStart is an initiative by the DOLE-CAR, the Baguio city government and 11 private firms.