A study assessing the work expectations of Filipino Generation Z students finds positive links between access to labor market information (LMI) and career optimism. The survey, conducted by the Far Eastern University Public Policy Center (FPPC), was presented at a webinar titled ‘Are Gen Zs Ready for Work?’ on 20 August 2021, Friday. Labor Assistant Secretary and Concurrent Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay joined the forum for a panel discussion on the survey results.

The key findings of the study were presented by Dr. Maria Christina F. Epetia, assistant professor at the University of the Philippines School of Economics and author of the policy paper on Gen-Z career optimism. The presentation focused on results of the College Experience Survey (CES), a longitudinal study conducted by the FPPC in partnership with various schools and universities nationwide and the primary data source of the policy paper. The CES monitors the journey of college students from freshman through senior year and how their college experience molds them as individuals.

The results of the paper showed that despite the pandemic, youth respondents exhibited high optimism regarding their career prospects, expressing eagerness to pursue their professional goals. This confidence is boosted by an awareness and understanding of the labor market, underscoring the importance of career guidance services in promoting workforce-readiness among the youth.

During the panel discussion, Asec. Rubia-Tutay delivered a short presentation on labor market signals and trends during the pandemic and the efforts of the department to disseminate such information to future participants in the jobs market. She highlighted the LMI publications regularly released by the Bureau, which update the public with reliable and relevant information on the current labor market situation.

Asec. Rubia-Tutay pointed out how the Career Guidance Advocacy Program, an initiative of the department in collaboration with CHED, TESDA, DepEd, PRC, and DOST, utilizes the up-to-date LMI reports developed by the BLE to immerse parents and students on the realities of the labor market, and empower career advocates in applying career guidance as an effective tool against jobs-skills mismatch.

Other measures by DOLE to improve the prospects of the youth labor force include the development of the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) and the Philippine Skills Framework (PSF), both implemented in collaboration with other national government agencies. The PQF enhances the employability of Filipino workers through the adoption of national standards and the development of qualifications pathways and equivalencies, while the PSF guide workers in the enhancement of their skills for particular job roles in identified priority sectors.

END/20 August 2021