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(Feature) Get up and get a job: Study says slow school-to-work transition diminishes 'employability'
By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA - There are around half-a-million college graduates expected to join the Philippine labor force every year. But some graduates have slow transition from school to work, as some still want to have a break from at least 15 years of staying in the academe from kindergarten to college.

The school-to-work (STW) transition refers to the duration and process of finding a job after leaving school or college.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has cited that STW transition may include job search behavior, short-term skills training, temporary work or household duties, and inactivity or staying at home out of employment, education, and training.

“A young person’s slow transition from school to work reduces their chances of finding a good job because their ‘employability’ diminishes,” DOLE noted in a recent meeting with the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC).

For example, Arjay Berboso, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Computer Technology, has yet to land a job after he graduated last year.

“I want to get a job after graduating in college so I applied for work a month after graduation,” he told the Philippines News Agency.

He said he tried to pass application through online job hunting sites, going to job fairs, and even walk-in application.

However, he admitted that 80 percent of the job positions he had applied for was not related to his specialization.

He also mentioned that he often lacked confidence when going to an interview: a factor not to pass the process.

Based on the survey of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), it takes one year for a college graduate to find a first job and up to two years to get into a regular job while it takes for a high school graduate up to three years to find a first job and four years to land in a regular wage job.

“Limited social networks, inadequate life skills, including job search behavior, are significant factors influencing length and quality of the STW transition,” the ADB survey noted.

Moreover, DOLE said young educated population has the largest share in unemployment in the country.

Based on the January 2015 Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), of the total 2.64 million unemployed Filipinos in the said period, 20 percent were college graduates while 34 percent were high school graduates.

In order to arrest the increasing slow SWT transition among youth and to further reduce the number of unemployed population in the country, DOLE, in partnership with ADB and Canadian International Development Agency, further promotes and pushes for JobStart Philippines program.

The program aims to enhance the "employability" of at-risk youth to improve their integration into productive employment.

At-risk youth include those who are currently not working or enrolled in school or training.

An individual may avail of the program with less than one year or no work experience, at least high school graduate, and aged 18 to 24 years.

The program will provide the youth with access to career guidance, life skills and technical, and on-the-job trainings.

Interested individual may inquire with the Bureau of Local Employment through 02 527-2543 or 02 527-2539 or via email

Get up and get a job earlier released a survey regarding what employers are looking for actual work experience from fresh graduates, and among the top three answers of employers are internship, grades, and part-time job.

“Willingness to learn, initiative, and honesty and integrity continue to be the most important qualities employers consider in fresh graduates. On the other hand, the most prized hard skills in fresh graduates are communication skills and trainability,” JobStreet said. (PNA)

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