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Two million jobs awaiting migrants in Europe – EU envoy

European Union (EU) Ambassador Guy Ledoux said there are two million jobs available for migrants, including overseas Filipino workers (OFW), amid record-high unemployment and fragile economies in Europe. “Even as we fight unemployment there are around two million job vacancies across the EU in the fields of health, ICT, engineering, sales, and finance,” Ledoux said during a workshop on migration policies at the Asian Institute of Management on Monday. “While emigration is not the only answer to fill skill gaps, it is certainly part of a common solution supportive of the EU's economic growth strategy,” Ledoux explained, citing the European region's aging population and shrinking workforce for the need to hire migrants. Hans Leo Cacdac, administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), told GMA News Online on Wednesday, “The demand for OFWs is clear. The challenge is to translate demand into access and action. Private sector stakeholders and/or government offices in the Philippines and EU, at bilateral or multilateral levels, need to commit labor market potential into fruition.” However, he warned aspiring OFWs who would seek jobs in EU to be wary of malicious agencies and individuals. “Job seekers are reminded to always deal with POEA-licensed recruiters that have POEA-registered foreign employers,” Cacdac said. 21M migrant workers in EU Meanwhile, Ledoux also said migration is key to the European region's success as “it is quickly becoming an economic and societal necessity.” He noted the role that migration played in pushing their economy to become one of the world's largest, with the help of the 21 million migrants from developing countries. He also highlighted the EU-funded 2.8 Million Euro project of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) supported by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas launched on Monday. The project involves 10 countries including the Philippines where the CFO acts as a focal point through liason with the OECD. Entitled “Advancing Regional Cooperation on International Migration among Southeast Asian countries,” the project aims to ease the migration process among Asian neighbors. Ledoux cited EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom's statement on a recent OECD report on international migration trends. “Demographic changes and skills shortages in certain sectors are a reality. The question is not whether we need migrants but how to make the most of migration,” Malmstrom said. “We of course need to make sure of the skills and talents we already have in Europe, but at the same time, in order to ensure our future prosperity and economic growth, we need to establish a demand driven labour immigration policy,” she added.  VVP, GMA News
Tags: europe, ofws