Jobstart targets 400 ‘at-risk youths’ in region

AT least 400 ‘at-risk youths’ are seen to benefit initially from ‘Jobstart’ following its launching in Region I in July.

Jobstart is a full cycle employment facilitation service of DOLE designed to increase chances of the employment of new college graduates and hasten their integration into productive employment.

Region 1 Department of Labor and Employment Director Nathaniel Lacambra recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mayor Belen Fernandez of Dagupan City on July 7 and Mayor Susan Pagador-Casareno of Rosales on July 10 to officially start the program in the two pilot areas.

“Basically, the Jobstart aims to shorten the youth’s school-to-work transition by enhancing their knowledge and skills acquired in formal education or technical training in order for them to become more responsive to the demands of the labor market,” Lacambra said.

The program was piloted in four local government units in 2014 in partnership with Asian Development Bank and the Government of Canada until it gained stronger ground in 2016 with the passing of Republic Act No. 10869, or the Jobstart Philippines Act of 2016.

Around P9 million is allotted for each local government unit to fund the program’s various components which include employer engagement, labor market information, career and employment coaching and referral and placement.

Lacambra said the program offers three tracks for trainees: immediate employment, full cycle, and other employment facilitation services.

Essentially, Jobstart addresses the perennial problem of job-skill mismatch, he said. (Tita Roces)

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