COVID-19 has created a different reality in the Philippine Labor Market––this includes drastic changes in the workplace arrangements, desirable skills, and occupational trends. The pandemic persists to yield strong influences on the Future of Work. Amidst the many disruptions in the employment landscape, employers are keen to hire a workforce who are prepared to adapt quickly to the unforeseen shifts of the labor market.

Under such circumstances, it is fundamental for learners to have an early preparation to help produce workforce-ready and flexible workers. This demands intensification of the various government agencies’ efforts in facilitating employment services such as Career Guidance, Employment Coaching, and updated Labor Market Information (LMI) seminars for graduating students to equip them with new industry demands and knowledge on the occupational requirements of the changing world of work.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Public Employment Service Office (PESO), and Department of Education (DepEd) continuously collaborate virtually to broaden the dissemination of pertinent LMI, issuances, and skills training and to effectively address on-going employment concerns of students amidst the pandemic.

To fulfill its mandate on the ground, the DOLE-National Capital Region (NCR) through its MUNTAPARLAS Field Office (MTPLFO) joined the annual Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP) as spearheaded by the City Government of Muntinlupa’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

Around 4,495 Grade 12 students from four (4) different public senior high schools in Muntinlupa City have successfully received CGAP training through a series of virtual conferences on November 17-19, 24-26, and December 1, 2021. MTPLFO Labor and Employment Officers Christopher Gregorio and Christine Jeremiah Torrecampo acted as resource speakers for the said activity.

Gregorio emphasized the significance of exposing oneself to relevant and up-to-date information on the local and national labor market in making informed decisions for one’s career path. Accordingly, he discussed the key findings of the DOLE JobsFit 2022 LMI Report, which includes key employment generators across regions and data on priority skills requirements—both of which are major deciding factors for determining one’s career path whether through higher education, entrepreneurship, middle-level skills development, or employment. He also encouraged the students to start identifying and understanding their interests, skills, and personality as these will give them a clearer idea of the most aligned career options for themselves.

Meanwhile, Torrecampo discussed the interconnections of the COVID-19 health crisis, Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe), and the Future of Work. She similarly noted the changing trends of work such as extensive workplace digitalization that gave rise on the need to up-skill the current workforce. She also presented the contrasting impacts of FIRe in the economy and the labor market—from the creation of new jobs to job displacements, particularly in manual and routine-based occupations. In summary, she saw the need for all stakeholders to join hands in preparing the youth to be equipped mentally and skill-wise to be able to seize the opportunities of this digital revolution.

Said virtual program was graced by key officials of the Muntinlupa City Local Government Unit, including Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi; District Representative Ruffy Biazon; Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Dominico C. Idanan; and PESO Manager Glenda Z. Aniñon.

CGAP is one of the flagship programs being implemented by the DOLE to address the mismatch between jobs and skills amongst the youth through a variety of activities that will guide them in their decision on which career path to take based on the labor market forecast and needs.

END / Christinne Jeremiah Torrecampo and Christopher Gregorio