Youth employment expected to improve with US$400 million ADB loan
MANILA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a US$400 million policy-based loan to assist the Philippine government effort to improve youth employment and skills programs for Filipinos to acquire quality jobs.
In a statement, the ADB said the Facilitating Youth School-to-Work Transition Program, Subprogram 3, builds on about ten years of ADB support to the government in shortening the time-at-risk young Filipinos spend in search of work after leaving school. The program will help the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in boosting the job facilitation capacity of Public Employment Services Offices (PESOs) across the country, strengthening market programs, improve workplace skills development, and create a healthy work environment.
ADB Director for Public Management, Financial Sector and Trade for Southeast Asia Jose Antonio Tan III said the pandemic has brought job losses to many sectors, particularly among young people. He said there is an urgent need to help young Filipinos find work through innovative labor market programs and skills development initiatives.
“This new loan reflects our long-term commitment to ensuring that young people find jobs to improve their lives and create a wider employment base for post pandemic economic growth,” Mr. Tan added.
The subprogram follows two loans extended earlier in 2017 and 2019. The earlier loans helped fund reforms that led to the full operationalization of PESOs and established DOLE’s flagship JobStart Philippines program, where more than 20,000 at-risk youth with life skills training and paid internships, and strengthened apprenticeships. The third subprogram will also strengthen government measures to address the impact of the pandemic and youth employment.
“This loan will help young jobseekers, particularly women, access training opportunities, and enhance their skills development. It will strengthen labor market policies and provide assistance to returning Filipino workers who lost jobs overseas because of the pandemic through group livelihood and entrepreneurship programs,” according to ADB Financial Sector Specialist for Southeast Asia Stephen Schuster.
From the loan, P1 billion or US$200 million, for Tulong Trabaho, job assistance scholarship fund, unemployment insurance scheme and the First Time Jobseekers Act.The program helped om the development of an online Life Skills Training Program for JobStart covering digital literacy, mental health, reproductive health and rights, women’s empowerment and work values.(Melo M. Acuña)