Employers prefer jobseekers with life skills, says Baldoz

By on November 19, 2014


Alexskopje / Shutterstock
Alexskopje / Shutterstock

MANILA — Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz had congratulated the 268 Quezon City youth who graduated from the JobStart Life Skills Training under the DOLE’s JobStart Philippines Program recently, saying they must place priority and importance on acquiring the necessary skills to meet employers’ requirements.

In her message to the graduates read by DOLE Human Resource Development Service chief and concurrent Assistant Secretary for Employability of Workers and Competitiveness of Enterprises Katherine B. Brimon at the graduation ceremony held at the UP Diliman, Baldoz said today’s employers see the value of life skills training as part of the pre-employment preparation of young adults.

In fact, one employer at a previous employers’ forum pointed out that “the importance of life skills is underscored by the fact that 85 percent of employment promotions have been due to the employees’ high level of emotional intelligence, and only 15 percent are attributed to performance in technical skills.”

Experts define life skills as abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life, including work. They include psycho-social skills that determine valued behavior and include reflective skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking, to personal skills such as self- awareness, and interpersonal communication.

The JobStart Life Skills Training was a major stage in the JobStart Philippines Program given to youth beneficiaries who completed the career guidance and employment coaching (CGEC) session and were randomly selected as beneficiaries.

It sought to prepare the participants for job matching with internship positions offered by JobStart partner-employers who will provide them with internship slots in their companies where they will undergo up to three months of technical training and up to six months of internship, both with stipends.

The training’s life skills modules include knowing one’s self, the world of work, personal branding, job hunting, financial literacy, health and well-being, and networking.

One of the training’s beneficiaries, 21 year-old Ma. Cristy Rose Gayoso of Barangay Benitez, Quezon City, said her confidence remarkably improved after the training.

“I thought I had known myself enough already, but the exercises during our training made me aware of more things I am capable of doing,” Gayoso said, citing her creative potential as something she did not realize she had.

Gayoso, who holds a college degree in elementary education, is from Eastern Samar. She relocated to Quezon City this year to review for the teachers’ licensure examination, but was not able to finish the review due to limited finances. She applied for a slot in JobStart Philippines and was accepted.

Together with her training mates, Gayoso received her certificate after the training. “Not only did it give me more confidence, it also taught me when and where to appropriately use that confidence, such as when to raise my hand to say my opinion. I have discovered my ‘personal brand’. Now, I have that confidence to communicate about myself because I know better what I can do as a potential employee,” she said.

UP Diliman fine arts graduate Joseph Emmanuel Linao, 22, shared the same experience. Linao, who aims to get an internship as a concept artist or illustrator under JobStart Program.

“Through our group activities, I realized my leadership potential which I did not know I had. Now I am aware that part of my personal brand is my ability to lead others. Our knowledge on branding is also reflected on the way we write our resumes including developing ‘elevator pitches’. Truly a big help for us jobseekers,” he said.

The training was even more empowering for Mary Ann Reyes, 23, and a single mother and high school graduate from Barangay Damayang Lagi. Reyes demonstrated the most improvement in personality during the entire training, easily getting the ‘most improved jobseeker’ award at their graduation program.

“I came in a very shy and insecure person, but through the activities in the training, I learned how to prepare and communicate my ‘personal brand’ during job interviews. Even with my current situation as a jobless, single mom, I am surprised to learn that I can still dream high,” she said. She also shared being amazed at learning how she can save and even invest her little money through the ‘managing finances’ module.

“We at the DOLE congratulate you for having actively participated and completed the life skills training and for continuously being receptive to this kind of opportunities that is designed for you to acquire the right skills to be job-ready. It is with high hopes that with the career guidance and life skills you have now, you are more prepared to face the challenge in taking another step further towards achieving your career goal,” Baldoz said to the graduates.

Close to a thousand ‘JobStarters’ have now completed the program’s Life Skills Training in the four pilot sites–San Fernando, Pampanga; General Trias, Cavite; Taguig City; and Quezon City.

They are already in the process of job matching and referral and more than a hundred of them have already started their technical training.

The JobStart Philippines Program introduces a full-cycle employment facilitation service which is a comprehensive and systematic approach in assisting the young jobseekers from planning their career paths all the way through acquiring the best-fit jobs through career guidance, life skills and technical training, and internship.

The DOLE implements the JobStart Philippines Program with the support and in cooperation with the Government of Canada and the Asian Development Bank.