Filipinos willing to upskill, retrain to keep jobs — survey

As unemployment still remains high, Filipino workers, including blue collar, are willing to undergo retraining and upskilling to keep their jobs, improve their employability and secure their posts, according to a survey.

The latest Decoding Global Talent Survey by Jobstreet, the country’s largest talent source online platform, showed that 77 percent of Filipino employees are willing to be retrained for a different job as needed. The survey,  also showed that the percentage is even higher among blue collar workers at 82 percent. 

The survey involves 200,000 respondents across 119 countries in consultation with Boston Consulting Group, among others.

The growing number of workers who value upskilling or retraining and acquiring multiple skills can be attributed to the need for job security. As the pandemic has changed the work landscape, candidates are more willing to learn additional or new skills to be able to remain efficient in their jobs during the quarantine economy. 

“Job roles are transforming faster than ever and both hirers and candidates must understand the need for upskilling for them to be more competitive and employable, respectively. Besides, it sustains a culture of learning in the workplace, hence improving overall productivity and resiliency at the time of crisis,” said JobStreet Philippines Country Manager Philip Gioca.

The same survey revealed that Filipino workers’ learning preferences are still traditional with On-the-Job Training at 70 percent shown as the most preferred way of upskilling as against online educational institutions of 52 percent. 

OJT learning was followed by Self-study at 63 percent and Conferences and Seminars at 56 percent. 

As of April this year, Jobstreet reported there are 4.14 million are still jobless because of the impact of the pandemic with the National Capital Region suffering from14.4 percent unemployment rate, followed by Calabarzon with 13.4 percent and Region 2 with 6 percent. The most affected are construction, agriculture, wholesale and retail trade and financial insurance activities. 

“With millions of Filipinos still jobless, the road will be long and challenging,” he said.

He, however, noted that as government starts to ease mobility restrictions, JobStreet has seen improvement in data with the number of jobs available doubling since the start of the pandemic.

JobStreet reported of 73,0147 jobs on its platform at present with most in demand jobs in the BPO and online teaching. Of this number, 58,555 are available right now in Jobstreet for early jabbers or entry-level jobs.

Of the available jobs, 53,000 positions are available in Luzon, the most affected during the pandemic.

Aside from the number of employees who are willing to learn additional skills, the report also features higher-risk and lower-risk jobs in terms of resiliency due to automation. 

JobStreet recommends for companies to build plans to expand the skills of their workers especially those in Customer Service, Service Sector, Administration and Secretariat, and Arts and Creative Work, which are at higher risk. 

Meanwhile, employees in lower-risk jobs such as Management, Engineering and Technical, Science and Research, Law, Health and Medicine, Social Care, IT and Technology, and Digitalization and Automation are also recommended to upskill or be trained to stay relevant. 

“We can see that automation has become a key factor in the workplace, so it is an advantage to learn digital skills regardless of your job role,” Gioca added. 

The fact that herd immunity in the country is expected to be attained in a year and a half year yet, Gioca said that job creation would be constrained.

He, however, said that there would be no discrimination for those job applicants with no COVID-19 vaccination yet, but workers are encouraged to get inoculated for their protection and safety.

While economic recovery is on the horizon, JobStreet understands that applying for jobs remains a challenge among Filipino candidates. To help jobseekers, JobStreet’s “Job To Cart” online event is providing applicants with thousands of career opportunities nationwide. 

Happening from July 26 to 30, “Job To Cart” gives participants a variety of career choices over its five day run, with applications done through easy-to-use chatbots and live chat features with participating employers.  

Day 1 will be dedicated to Luzon-based jobs, then on Day 2, available positions from Visayas-Mindanao jobs will be added. Day 3 is launching entry-level jobs, while Day 4 introduces overseas opportunities, and Day 5 opens government support and services. 

Candidates can also catch JobStreet’s Facebook Live Shows, featuring special musical guests Fighting Monday, Reese Lansangan, and The Juans. Guests will also talk about their experiences in job searching and working in an office. With the help of hosts Show Suzuki and Bea Constantino, JobStreet will also present job vacancies that are up for grabs through “Job To Cart” during the livestream. “Job To Cart is an effort that aims to make applying for jobs a more entertaining activity just as how much we Filipinos enjoy online shopping. Hopefully, through this online event, we are able to help more candidates rebuild their careers and find a job that matters to them,” said Gioca.