MANILA, Philippines – A top labor recruiter identified yesterday nurses and hotel workers as the most “unemployable” or those likely to end up jobless.
Recruitment leader Lito Soriano said the country is producing too many nursing and tourism graduates but unqualified to be hired abroad.
“Over 2,000 nursing schools have an annual total enrollment of over 420,000 students and each year, 100,000 new nurses take the board exams yet only 40 percent are able to make the grade,” Soriano noted.
He said there are also few job openings for nurses in the country since local hospitals can only absorb less than 5,000 nurses each year while overseas opportunities are very limited.
“Hospitals abroad have very strict requirements like two to three-year experience in specialty or clinical wards with large hospitals having a two hundred bed-capacity,” he explained.
Based on data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), only 10,000 nurses are able to work in the Middle East, USA, UK, Australia and Canada every year.
On the other hand, Soriano said the country also generates more than 120,000 hotel and restaurant management (HRM) graduates every year.
According to Soriano, most of the HRM graduates also need additional skills training to be able to qualify for employment overseas.
Labor Undersecretary Rosalinda Baldoz confirmed that nursing and HRM courses post the biggest number of graduates for the past years.
Baldoz explained that many of those who took up HRM and nursing courses want to go abroad.
However, Baldoz said, those new graduates cannot immediately qualify for employment overseas due to lack of the necessary experience required by foreign employers.
To curb the growing number of unemployed nursing and HRM graduates in the country, Soriano called on concerned government agencies to undertake immediate reforms.
He suggested that non-performing nursing schools should be required to enforce necessary measures to improve their performance or face suspension.
He also urged high school graduates to study carefully their options when enrolling for their college courses.
“College freshmen and sophomores can still shift from their nursing courses to other employable jobs like medical technicians and therapists now in demand in the Middle East,” he said.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star