Neda: We?re addressing skills mismatch in BPO, labor sector

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The government is intensifying efforts to address skills mismatch and attract investments that will generate more jobs, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

?To generate more and better employment, we are working on improving the business climate and labor regulations,? said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

He added that apart from creating new drivers of growth, addressing policy inconsistencies and administrative inefficiencies are also necessary to continue improving the country?s investment climate to offer profitable opportunities that will generate jobs.

?The regulatory environment should promote employment creation. It also needs to be responsive to the needs of firms to easily adjust employment requirements according to changes in output markets while still ensuring decent work for those employed,? said Balisacan, who is also Neda director-general.

He cited business process outsourcing (BPO), manufacturing, tourism, and agribusiness as employment-generating sectors that present a great potential for creating high-quality jobs, as well as opportunities for innovation and technology spillovers.

?Our initial estimates suggest that $3.0 billion investments in these sectors will create 621,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly through multiplier effects? said Balisacan.

Though skills mismatch also serves as a constraint to employment generation, he said that the Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are already giving attention to this.

?These agencies are working closely with colleges and schools to ensure that the courses offered match the kind of jobs that are expected to be generated by the economy,? said Balisacan.

At the same time, the ?K to 12? program is meant to ensure that students learn enough basic skills to facilitate the acquisition of advanced skills through training and to support innovative activity, he said.

Based on the NSO Labor Force Surveys, the number of employed persons increased from 36.5 million in October 2010 to 37.7 million in October 2012. This corresponded to a drop of the unemployment rate from 7.1 percent to 6.8 percent during the same period.

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