SENATOR TO NEDA: INCREASE BUDGET FOR YOUTH WORKERS
SENATOR Risa Hontiveros urged the National Economic Development Authority to increase the funding for the youth apprenticeship program to help young people amid the limited employment opportunities.
“Maraming mga kabataang edad 15 hanggang 24 ang walang trabaho o hindi pumapasok sa eskwela. Mula 39,000 lang noong July 2020 ay umakyat ito sa 925,000 nitong July 2021. Inaasahang dadami pa ito. Kailangan ng pantawid-tulong habang wala pa silang nakikitang permanenteng trabaho,” Hontiveros said.
“Dapat mag-invest sa mga programa gaya ng jobstart program para magbigay ng tulong at pantawid trabaho para sa mga kabataang matatapos ng K-12 pero mahihirapang makahanap ng trabaho,” she added.
The Jobstart program, a partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment and Asian Development Bank, provides financial support for companies that take in and train underprivileged youth.
The lawmaker called on the government to expand the youth employment program.
She proposed a special focus on digital skills to take advantage of the window of employment opportunities for young digital natives — as the global information technology-business process outsourcing industry continues to thrive and as digital transformation in the public and private sector gains traction.
“Magandang mag-invest sa IT-BPO industry kung saan puwedeng pumasok bilang apprentice ang mga kabataang makakatapos ng K-12. Isa ang industriyang ito na lalong lumakas nitong pandemic, at swak din sa competencies ng mga kabataan na karamihan ay digital natives na rin,” she said.
Hontiveros added that NEDA should commit to work with the Finance Department and DOLE to renegotiate and accelerate the calendar of implementation and terms of the Jobstart program funded by the ADB since December 2019.
“Involuntary unemployment or forced idleness is an unconscionable waste of human capabilities. These are not ordinary times. We need to see a solid plan that will bring our youth back to education and employment, even in the face of widespread unemployment among older adults,” she stressed.