Improving employability of fresh graduates

Published by rudy Date posted on July 2, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Do you know that most of the 2,885,000 unemployed Filipinos today are new graduates?

Based on the 2009 Labor Force Survey released by the National Statistic Office (NSO) recently, 49.2% of the total numbers of unemployed sector are under the age bracket of 15-24 years old.

This is one of the reasons why the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), through the initiative of its Academe-Industry Collaboration Committee, joined hand-in-hand with the Coordinating Council of Private Education Associations (CoCoPEA) for a special project which involved production distribution of an audio visual presentation (AVP) which addresses the need for information on the current gaps on the competencies needed by new graduates in applying for a job.

Part of the thrust of PMAP, a 50-year old national association of top HR practitioners in the country with about 1,800 member companies and individual members, is to work closely with academe to ensure the availability of talent for the current and future requirements of industry. A memorandum of agreement has been signed and PMAP is enthusiastic over its first collaboration with CoCoPEA. Under the agreement, the said AVP will be sent to schools nationwide to be presented during college freshmen orientations and 4th year high schools PTAs, as well.

In a recent survey of PMAP member companies, it was shown that 40% of applicants fail in their job interviews. Most of those who fail are fresh graduates. Moreover, most of them fail not because of lack of technical skills. Rather, they lack key behavioral competencies necessary to perform in typical office situations. The top three behavioral competencies were: Initiative, Communication, and Critical Thinking.

PMAP invested in the (AVP) to highlight these key skills. The investment included engaging a professional group to ensure intended results are achieved, i.e., create a desire among students to develop their behavioral skills.

PMAP wants to make sure the message is positively received by students. More important, PMAP wants the students to act on the issues and to develop the skills as part of their personal goals. The target group is incoming first year college students. PMAP believes they, compared to upperclassmen, will have enough time to develop the skills. The format is adapted to the mindset of a typical youth where humor is used to increase retention and creative use of copy is used to incite action.

PMAP hopes the AVP will push students to develop the said behavioral competencies.

A preview of the AVP was presented during the 546th PMAP general membership meeting at the Hotel Intercon – Makati recently. Distribution of the AVP to schools, through the help of CoCoPEA, began last month.

To support this AVP project, PMAP will be launching another relevant survey in the next two months. The survey will be sent to all PMAP members to find out what their current job openings; what they forecast the openings to be in the next 3 years; what skills are required and in what qualifications and competencies do most applicants fail. The results will then be given to the schools through COCOPEA so that they can use the information in the development of their curriculum. –Philippine Star

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