/ 20 April 2022

SENATOR Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday backed the augmentation of government-supported apprenticeship programs, saying these will help address the loss of jobs predominantly among women and the youth during the pandemic and its aftermath.

“The first batch of college students who were products of the K-12 program will be looking for work and will be joining the labor force. Sa mga pagsasanay sa apprenticeship programs, magkakaroon sila ng mga partikular na skill set na makatutulong mapunan ang kawalan ng job experience. Ang job experience bilang apprentice ay mahalaga upang paikliin ang transition mula sa pagtatapos sa eskwela patungo sa disenteng trabaho,” she said.

Apprenticeship programs can help address job-skills mismatch, especially as there is a great need in the Information technology business process outsourcing industry for digital skills.

“Before the pandemic, I am told that the human resource departments had to go through an average of 25 applications before they found a good-enough match for a vacancy. Apprenticeship programs will provide government support for private firms that would hone the skills even of new entrants into the labor force,” Hontiveros said.

Women can also get education and knowledge in venturing onto e-commerce and social commerce platforms to help in the growth of their own businesses.

“The homes of many middle class families have become places of work and a lot of women, including solo parents, have taken the risk of opening up their own small businesses. Kumita sila mula sa pagtitinda ng meryenda sa labas ng bahay hanggang sa pagbebenta ng mga damit, sapatos, at kung anong pwede pang ibenta,” she said.

“Apprenticeship programs can expand the boundaries and create opportunities for women in micro businesses to venture confidently onto e-commerce and social commerce platforms. Malaki ang maitutulong nito para mas mapalago pa ang kanilang negosyo,” Hontiveros added.

She expressed hope that the next administration will scale up apprenticeship

Hontiveros hopes that the new administration will support the scaling up of these apprenticeship programs for the economic inclusion of women, the young and the deeply scarred emerging middle class.

“Umaasa ako na mabigyang-prayoridad ang apprenticeship programs para tulungan na makaahon at maka-recover ang ating mga kabataan at kababaihan mula sa epekto ng pandemya. We should continue to open up vital new pathways for their economic inclusion so that we can finally find a new normal that will empower them,” she said.