By Monique S. Nellas
According to the Commission on Higher Education
(CHED), over 500,000 college students
nationwide are anticipated to graduate this month, prepared to embark in the work arena and go about achieving their ultimate goal in life beyond the parameters of the school campus
Many fresh graduates are uncertain if they could really land a job immediately -- hearing a lot on how difficult it is getting to be employed in the country at present. Being a graduating student
myself, I am no special not to experience the same sentiment they have.
Atty. Julito Vitriolo, CHEd executive director, said in an interview with the Philippines News Agency (PNA) that landing a job is tougher today amidst the proliferation of contractual employment in the country.
A stiff competition should also be expected as fewer jobs
become available to a lot of first-time job seekers who have to compete with other still unemployed individuals.
Young people are also three times more likely to be unemployed than adults as reported by the International Labor Organization (ILO) since most employers nowadays seek applicants with sufficient work experience
With this in mind, it seems that graduating students should gear up for more challenging days after graduation rites are completed.
What should we do then?
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in a statement that job hunting could be a difficult process for fresh graduates, but when approached with enough knowledge and confidence, it may lead to change and fulfillment in life.
â€œJob search is a process. It may be tiring, frustrating, and disappointing. But it need not be traumatic. For those who are ready, it can be a fulfilling and life-changing experience, particularly if one approaches the task with adequate knowledge and confidence that springs from self-worth and skills
to position the job seeker in a fiercely competitive marketplace,â€ Baldoz explained.
She said that first-time job seekers should take the opportunity that their first jobs will offer as these may give them enough experience and skills.
"â€¦ accept the first job that comes your way and which fit your qualifications. This is the way to earn experience and pick up job-ready skills," Baldoz stressed.
She noted that â€œitâ€™s no secret that employers are looking for people with skills more relevant to the current economy, and one of the greatest things future job seekers can do is prepare themselves for this shift.â€
Despite these issues on employment, new graduates should still be optimistic for their future as the employment rate of the country is on the uptrend, according to the latest survey results.
The National Statistics Office (NSO) released the result of the January 2012 Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the country which revealed that employment rate increased from 92.6 percent in January 2011 to 92.8 by January 2012.
Unemployment also decreased to 7.2 percent in January 2012 from 7.4 percent a year ago.
The CHED has reminded graduating students that the agency could only help in their preparation for the competitive marketplace ahead but it is still up to them wether they will make it in their prospective jobs.
At this moment, it is best for fresh graduates to grab every opportunity that comes along their way because, as they say, it only comes once in a lifetime.
Take the right choices and follow what the CHED executive director advised Batch 2012: â€œTry hard. Donâ€™t lose hope.â€
Government ready to assist new job hunters to the workplace
As half a million college students graduate this March, government institutions and agencies have prepared to assist them in their new journey from the school campus to the workplace to enter the competitive job market of today.
To begin with, the DOLE is advising the new graduates to consult its â€œMinute Guide for Young Job Seekers.â€
It is described as a â€œself-help manual intended to assist young job seekers, especially new graduates, school leavers, and out-of-school and unemployed youth in seeking for work and landing a job that suits their skills and qualifications.â€
â€œFor first time job seekers, the guide can be very useful in planning the start of their careers as it contains a comprehensive step-by-step direction â€” from self-assessment to self-discovery,â€ Secretary Dimapilis-Baldoz said.
The second quarter of this year should be marked by any first-time job seeker as the DOLE usually organizes and sponsors nationwide job fairs.
Through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and in cooperation with private and government sector employers, at least 200 job fairs will be held around the country from April to June.
Organized by the Bureau of Labor Employment (BLE) and its regional offices, the biggest of these events will happen on May 1 and June 12 in line with the 110th Labor Day and the 114th Philippine Independence Day, respectively.
New job hunters do not have to worry about illegal recruiters as the employers participating in these job fairs are screened and validated meticulously.
Moreover, the DOLE is working to strengthen its linkage with higher academic institutions and local government units (LGUs) to provide immediate access to the employment facilitation and services of the department.
â€œThe institutionalization and the establishment of school-based PESOs are important steps towards strengthening our collaboration between LGUs and the academe in providing job seekers and graduates access to our employment facilitation programs and services,â€ the DOLE said.
These offices are urged to be established in universities to provide students with job counseling services, updated labor market information, trainings, and skills registration services.
The PESO, a job facilitating arm of the BLE, is supported by the CHED as it can provide help in the immediate employment of graduates.
Director Vitriolo said that the CHED is currently improving its curricula to meet international standards.
International internship programs are also introduced to continuously upgrade the skills of students to enable them to acquire the needed ability for the kind of work they prospectively want to embark themselves with after graduation.
The commission encourages academic institutions to upgrade their teaching competences through developments that will be made from the members of the faculty to their teaching equipment and facilities.
With the improvement in the employment level of the country, the graduating college students, including myself, should remain optimistic of our future.
Equipped with all the knowledge and skills our Alma Mater thought us, I bet self-confidence and a strong faith are what we need to help us reach for the job we all want to have.
Meanwhile, the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III has assured that new graduates and job seekers will have the opportunity to avail of jobs in private firms following the influx of foreign manufacturing companies that have shown interest to invest in the country.