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Bill eyes study of labor market to help K-12 grads find jobs

A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives mandating the study of labor market demand every three years to increase the chances of K to 12 or senior high school (SHS) graduates of landing jobs.

House Bill 9808 or Batang Magaling Act seeks to establish local councils that will conduct the studies, the result of which will serve as the basis for the improvement of the work immersion component of the senior high school (SHS) program.

“This bill seeks to reinforce the K to 12 program objective by ensuring that SHS graduates are equipped with the knowledge, training, and skills demanded in the labor market, whether they have chosen the higher education, middle-level skills development, employment, or entrepreneurship exit, thereby enhancing their employability and competitiveness in the workforce,” Deputy Speaker Camille Villar of Las Piñas City, the author of the bill, said.

Likewise, the bill mandates the local councils to increase awareness and commitment of industry partners and government agencies to accept students in Work Immersion Programs (WIPs), ensure that their deployment is done according to their tracks or specialization courses, and enable them to acquire specialized skills and competencies to advance in their chosen path.

The bill also requires educational institutions offering the SHS program to offer WIPs that would help develop the students’ competencies, skills, work ethics, and values relevant to pursuing further education or joining the workforce.

“The government must make sure that SHS students are ready for employment when they finish the K to 12 program. It is imperative that we arm them with the commensurate knowledge and skills that would make them employable and competitive,” Villar said.

The bill states that the local Batang Magaling Council will be composed of municipal local school boards (LSBs), the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), at least two industry partners in the locality, a representative of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority provincial office, and a local employee organization or association.

Further, the bill said that the Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Employment should develop and maintain a centralized nationwide database of skills information to serve as a one-stop shop for all matters related to the employment of SHS graduates, as well as craft strategies to minimize the impediments to SHS employment and promote the hiring of the graduates.—LDF, GMA Integrated News