Opening address at presentation of the desk review on "Gender dimensions on School-to-Work Transition"

By Mr Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the presentation of desk review on the "Gender Dimensions on School-to-Work Transition", Makati, Philippines, 18 January 2012

Statement | Makati City, Philippines | 18 January 2012
  • Distinguished guests and representatives from the government, civil society, workers groups and the private sector
  • Colleagues from the UN
  • Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga sa inyong lahat (good morning to all of you)!

First, allow me to welcome you to the ILO Country Office for the Philippines and to wish each of you all the best for 2012.

Today, the results of the study on “Gender Dimensions on School-to-Work Transition” will be presented. The study was prepared by Professor Torres under the auspices of Plan International and the United Nations Girls Education Initiative for East Asia and the Pacific.

The transition into adulthood is an exciting time for most young people, bringing with it the prospects of social and economic independence. For some however, the challenge of finding employment can be daunting.

Those who are not able to transition into productive employment are often overcome by a sense of frustration and negativity during a time that is meant to be full of hope.

For many Filipino youth, the aspiration of finishing school remains a fleeting dream as they are forced by circumstance, brought about by poverty, to drop-out of school and join the ranks of the employed, often in work that is hazardous, unproductive, low-paid or insecure, simply in order to provide for themselves and their loved-ones.

We, at the ILO, together with our colleagues from UNICEF and the rest of the United Nations family, recognize that education is the first step towards decent and productive work.

This is reflected in the efforts made under the MDGF Joint Programme Alternatives to Migration: Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth where interventions focus on reducing drop-out rates and increasing participation rates among disadvantaged high school level youth.

Equally important in bridging this transition is the provision of opportunities for technical vocational skills training with TESDA and entrepreneurship training with the Department of Labor and Employment.

On a more strategic approach, the DOLE through the Institute for Labor Studies, has developed the strategy paper Alternative Pathways: Toward Charting an Actionable Framework for Youth Employment and Migration which will soon be developed into an Action Plan in close coordination DOLE, the National Youth Commission and the National Economic Development Authority.

In addition, the ILO will soon be embarking on its Work4Youth project which will include a school-to-work transition survey in the Philippines. This effort will be linked with the Labor Force Survey, twice over a 5 year period till 2016.

It is our hope that the Philippine government would adopt this in order to further strengthen the analysis of School-to-Work transition in the country. Such an exercise could potentially be an opportunity to gather evidence to explore further relationships between education and labour from a gender perspective.

The Philippine Development Plan (2011-2016) identified employment generation as one of the four priority areas to achieve inclusive growth. The Philippine Labor and Employment Plan, prepared by the DOLE as the first sectoral plan under the PDP, also identified youth employment as one of the main challenges to be addressed.

Let me say that the sense of urgency to address the challenge of education and youth employment is primary in our agenda.

The ILO stands ready to support the Philippines in achieving sustainable, inclusive and greener growth through decent and productive work.

Thus, it is my hope that today’s presentation will contribute to the on-going dialogue and formulation of programmes that would benefit the youth in this country.

Once again, welcome and may you have a productive discussion.

Thank you and Mabuhay!