Context: JobStart is a government employment programme implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), with funding support from the Government of Canada and technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The programme aims to provide school-to-work transition assistance, specifically for youth aged 18-24 years old. It also aims to increase the chance of an individual securing employment from an estimated 60 per cent to 80 per cent, while efficiently reducing time needed to search for jobs.
Implementation of programme/initiative: A feature of the programme includes information for fresh graduates about employment opportunities and the skills required for the specific occupation they are searching for. JobStart also provides training and workshops to equip individuals with skills valued by employers.
During training, DOLE provides a PHP 200 (US$ 3.9) stipend per day to each job starter and PHP 1,000 (US$ 19.4) to their partner employers for administration costs. Funds for the JobStart Philippines Program are generated through grants provided by the Technical Assistance (TA) from ADB and the Government of Canada. The management and disbursement of these funds are assigned by consultants with the JobStart unit.
Main challenges: In an interview, the spokesperson for DOLE’s regional employment claimed that one of the main challenges for the programme is finding suitable partner employers for the trainees. One of the reasons for this is the high qualification levels that employers require for the people they employ.
Results achieved: As of August 2015, the JobStart initiative has produced over 601 graduates; 168 of which completed the full programme and 433 of which were hired prior to completion of the programme.
In cooperation with Local Government Units around the country, JobStart has also been launched in Cebu City, Province of Bohol, Mandaluyong City, Davao City, Tagum City, Puerto Princesa City, Caloocan City and Pasay City.
Moving Forward: Lauriele Arce, DOLE’s regional employment spokesperson, stated that in the coming years they plan to expand the reach of the programme to the cities of Mindanao, such as Panabo City in Davao del Norta, Sta. Cruz town and Digos City in Davao del Sur. In 2016, there were at least 200 youth participants that took part in the pilot programme in Davao. In 2017, their goal is 600 participants.
Replicability: One of the key factors leading to the success of this initiative is the willingness of the Local Government to partner with DOLE to make the programme possible. The sustainability of the programme is also secured by grants provided by the ADB and the Canadian Government.
Date: October 11, 2017