Changing youth mindset the key to addressing underemployment– Magsaysay

Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay is urging the government to address the employment problem in the country by ensuring that students are properly guided before they enroll for their college education so as not to create an imbalance in the country’s professional workforce against the needs of the industries after graduation.

Magsaysay made the statement amid the recent data released by the National Statistics Office that the unemployment rate in the country has increased slightly to 7.1 percent compared to last year’s 7.0 rate. The data also indicated an underemployment rate of 19.1 percent compared to last year’s 17.9 percent which translates to one or more working age Filipinos that are either jobless or not practicing in the career they specialize in.

“Perhaps the Education department could look into a more intensive program to educate students on what alternative courses are available to them rather than just accept them to nursing or whatever trend there is right now,” she said.

She explained that the danger there is becoming evident now such as an oversupply of nurses that are currently unemployed because of a lack of opportunities in the job market.

“The mindset of these students when they enroll for the course is that they want to go abroad to earn more. However, they cannot be employed there without prior work experience. And because we cannot offer them these work opportunities, they are stuck here and forced to take on jobs that are not their line of expertise just to earn income,” she said.

“We must change this way of thinking and encourage them to take courses that are in line with job opportunities in the country. There are many untapped courses that can help both the students and the country in its road to development. The two must work together, and align its goals. Make them stay and make it worthwhile for them to stay in the country, so that the state and its people work together for a common goal,” she said.