Save the Children Youth Employment Programmes – Philippines

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ILO data state that unemployment in the Philippines among youth is 16.0 per cent, with the rate for females and males being 17.0 and 14.8 per cent, respectively. These figures contrast those for the adult population, where the overall employment rate is 3.0 per cent, with figures of 3.3 and 4.3 for females and males, respectively. The nation is still experiencing significant population growth, having the potential to reap the demographic dividend; there is an annual population increase of 1.5 per cent and it is not until 2060 that the percentage of the total population aged 15-64 will start to decline. With this comes a growing need for technical and vocational skills, entrepreneurial support and employment linkages that can empower young people and boost socioeconomic development.

Implementation of programme/initiative: Save the Children programmes in the Philippines identify and serve the most deprived and at risk youth, creating job linkages through local labour market assessments, private sector partnerships and a dynamic training approach on both employability and entrepreneurship skills. The programmes reflect a growing shift towards urbanization by addressing the needs of both vulnerable populations and businesses within urban centres. Success depends on robust collaboration with local government, accredited technical and vocational institutions, local and global businesses with operations in the Philippines, and other stakeholders. By building an evidence base through information and communications technology (ICT) and research, the programme can be improved as it is being implemented.

Main challenges: One of the main challenges the programmes face is the need for more collaboration with companies, along with more job portals for effective employment linkages that benefit youth. Furthermore, the programmes require effective methods to more comprehensively evaluate how much youth learn from training activities. For post-programme support and evaluation, Save needs to track youth participants more systematically. Lastly, it has been hard to effectively reach deprived and at-risk youth.

 Results achieved: Save reached more than 3,000 youth from 2012 to 2015. By February 2016, more than 2,000 young people, 30 per cent female, had been trained on employability skills. Entrepreneurship Skills Training was also conducted among 25 students, and youth with winning business plans were provided with start-up kits to establish their own businesses. In order for youth to validate their skills, 216 youth received an accredited skills competency assessment and certification support during the last quarter of 2015. Moreover, Save has established partnerships with 21 technical vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and 5 local government units. In terms of income-generating outcomes, an estimated 34 to 43 per cent of the total trained youth through December 2015 were either employed, had started their own businesses, undertook paid apprenticeship or got on-the–job training.

 Moving Forward: Save’s next goal is to reach 16,500 youth aged 15-24 who are currently enrolled in TVET. Some 12,700 youth will be trained using a blend of e-learning approaches while the remaining 3,800 will be reached through face-to-face training. In order to check that youth are learning from trainings, Save will locally adapt a tool to measure participants’ acquisition of employability skills, including self-control; positive self-esteem; and communication, social and problem-solving skills; as well as job search skills. Other plans include the following:

  • Further updating and customizing of the curriculum and training methods used to increase their relevance to growing economic sectors, such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  • Creating youth guilds, not only as a source of support to graduates, but also as a resource pool for employers looking for youth with specific skills.
  • Developing innovations in information sharing through social media and SMS to track participants.
  • Institutionalizing an online centralized database management system and mobile data collection to better monitor and evaluate impact.

Other ways Save will address the challenge of reaching deprived and at risk youth include innovative approaches to e-Learning and peer-to-peer training and mentoring through corporate and youth volunteer engagement.

Replicability: Implementing similar programmes to the above in other countries requires strong relationships with local government, technical and vocational institutions, and private sector employers. Another key factor is using efficient training methods that identify key employability skills that youth need and then develop those skills through in-person and e-learning systems. Finally, setting up accurate ways to track and evaluate youth progress in training and post-programme occupations allows for continual programme improvement.


KILM 9th Edition Database from the ILO

ESCAP Population Data Sheet 2016

Project Details

Date: May 17, 2017

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