DAVAO CITY– The independent think tank, Ibon Foundation, frowned on the new career guidance program dubbed as “JobsFit” of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to address the youth unemployment here in the country.

In a phone interview, Sonny Africa of Ibon Foundation, told Davao Today that the government’s JobsFit program is not the answer for unemployment since it will only “serve employers and capitalists” and “exploit” the workers.

“JobsFit program serves employers and capitalists demand to get the best kind of workers for them to exploit.” He said.

Recently, during a press conference here on Friday, July 29, DOLE presented the JobsFit program encouraging guidance counselors and career advocates to apply it to their students “to address the jobs and skills mismatch” that according to them is the reason of youth unemployment here.

Lariele Arce, DOLE’s regional employment focal said that the program will give full attention to the youth in line with their career decision in the employment scenario in the labor market.

“In JobsFit, the youth will know the demand jobs and hard-to-fill jobs in different industries,” Arce said.

Arce said that the program needs the help of the guidance councilors and career advocates to immerse students and parents “to know the reality in labor market.”

“JobsFit is used to inculcate the minds of our students as early as Grade 9 to Grade 11 to lead them to acquire the qualifications, skills and interests to be developed and match the interest of the industry because we should not stop the growth of our partner industry since it is their need,” Arce said.

However, Africa said that the program is only “exaggerating a supposed jobs-skills mismatch as a major factor for unemployment is in effect victim-blaming.”

He said that the “real reason for the crisis of joblessness is the collapse of Filipino industry and the chronic backwardness of agriculture due to free market policies of neoliberal globalization.”

“It will not reduce unemployment because the only thing that will happen is that the unemployed will be made to
compete among themselves for the few jobs that the weak PH economy generates,” Africa said.

Africa said that DOLE, aside from its “very important role of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring their welfare the department should also be at the forefront of pushing the critical economy-wide strategy of national industrialization and building Filipino industry.”

He said that the critical economy-wide strategy of national industrialization and building Filipino industry will really create jobs and “not very limited measures like the JobsFit or job fairs which don’t address the roots of joblessness and absent real industrialization.”(davaotoday.com)

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