Jobs website says Middle East still top destination for OFWs

By Mary Jane Tadili

The Middle East remains to be the top destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), according to a report from jobs website WorkAbroad.PH.

WorkAbroad.PH marketing lead Paola Savillo

In a press briefing, WorkAbroad.PH executives said Gulf countries accounted for 76.28% of all job listings in their website.

Saudi Arabia alone made up 46% of the total overseas jobs, making it as the top overseas country of deployment with most number of job opportunities for nurses. It is followed by Asia-Pacific countries (11.9%) and the United States (7.59%).

Paola Savillo, marketing lead of WorkAbroad.PH, said that “overhires” posted a total of 137,243 job listings from January to October 2018 which is up by 21% compared to 2017, which had 113,545.

Savillo added that among the top regions of deployment, USA is now in third place with 81% more job ads in 2018. Also, Australia makes it into the top 10, replacing Taiwan.

According to the report, across continents majority of job opportunities are looking for skilled workers. As for professionals, engineers are also still high in demand.

In the Middle East, healthcare is still the highest-paying specialization while in Asia-Pacific, marketing/business development are the highest paid as these overseas opportunities are for experienced professionals. In the US, sea-based roles are the highest paid and also the most in demand.

Edwin Alcantara, marketing branch director at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), said there is an overall decline of labor demand in most of the countries in the last four years.

However, new labor markets like Oceania, New Zealand, and Macau are opening up, offsetting the slump in some places.

Alcantara explained that while there is a steady growth for all occupation in the sea-based industry, there is a significant decrease in land-based recruitment.

Out of the 1.5 million plus deployed OFWs in 2017, only 21% were new hires. The 71% were actually rehires which means that for every four OFWs deployed, there are three rehires and one new hire.

Alcantara added that the bulk of deployment for new hires is still in basic occupations — those in the household care and private establishment that are primarily catered to the convenience of the employer or care for patients.

With the new directive from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to heighten and increase protection and to possibly decrease the potential cases of OFWs facing in their country of engagement, Alcantara said the POEA is working to sign bilateral labor agreements with emerging markets, as well as government-to-government arrangement for healthcare providers.

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