The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Wednesday revealed the in-demand skills needed in top OFW destination countries in Asia, the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Oceania as of 2016.
During the launch of the 2017 WorkAbroad.Ph Overseas Jobs and Salary report on Wednesday, the POEA presented data from approved job orders, preliminary data dated February 23, 2017, and the results of a survey of private recruitment agencies.
Much like WorkAbroad.Ph's report, data from the POEA showed that skilled workers, healthcare professionals, and sea- and land-based jobs have the highest demand overseas out of all professions.
Top skills and the countries that needed them
Ireland and the UK, both members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), showed a great need for professional nurses while fellow OECD country Israel had the most approved job orders for caregivers and caretakers.
Nurses were also in-demand in Saipan along with production supervisors, while New Zealand had need for skilled construction workers, Papua New Guinea for skilled carpenters, and Australia for cooks and related workers.
Civil engineers were in demand in Diego Garcia in Central America, and engineering technicians in the US and Cyprus, which also had need for waiters, bartenders, and related workers.
South Korea and Taiwan had need for workers to do production and manufacturing work, while Japan had high sampling of job orders for engineers, construction workers and nurses.
Algeria had high demand for mechanical engineering technicians; Morocco for motor vehicle drivers; and Russia for precision instrument production workers.
Finally, the Middle East put out the most job orders for domestic workers, nurses, construction laborers, skilled construction workers, and engineers.
Meanwhile, private recruitment agencies surveyed by the POEA said waiters, carpenters, electricians, welders, and cooks were the top five land-based skills in-demand abroad.
Among professional skills, civil engineers ranked the highest at six, followed by nurses and mechanical engineers.
For sea-based professions, agencies had the most job orders for chief engineer officers, chief mates, masters, second engineer officers, and able seaman.
New hires and rehires flock to the Middle East
The Middle East had the lion's share of new hires and rehires in 2016, taking 69.4 percent or 764,793 of new and returning OFWs.
Five out of the top 10 countries of destination for 2016 of OFWs can be found in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia (1), United Arab Emirates (2), Qatar (4), Kuwait (5), and Oman (8).
Other top countries include Singapore (3), Taiwan (6), Hong Kong (7), Malaysia (9), and Japan (10).
The POEA noted that the demand for workers in sectors depends on the economic and political situation of countries of destination, while some countries only have skill-specific openings tied with permanent migration.
In order to build the capacity of OFWs and to enable them to compete with foreign workers from other labor-sending countries, jobseekers need continuing education, training, certification, and experience-building. OFWs also need the support of the government to protect them from poor working conditions on-site.
Contract substitution, delayed or non-payment of wages and other benefits, no days off, unauthorized or excessive salary deductions, and health, medical, and housing problems are just some of the problems OFWs continue to encounter abroad, according to POEA data.
Household service workers, in particular, face more hazards, particularly maltreatment, non-compliance with Philippine minimum salary, and lack of airfare or air tickets from employers for repatriation even when they finish their contracts. —graphics by Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/KBK, GMA News