Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the JobStart program at the Capitol Boardroom, Monday, July 31, 2017. From left: Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 6 assistant regional director Salome Siaton, DOLE 6 regional director Johnson Cañete, and Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. with Public Employment Services Office (PESO)-Iloilo staff Jayrel Encontro and chief Francisco Heler, Jr. assisting.
Iloilo province was chosen as pilot area in Western Visayas for the JobStart program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was entered into by Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. and DOLE-6 regional director Johnson Cañete for the program’s implementation on Monday, July 31, 2017.
JobStart aims to shorten the youth’s school to work transition by enhancing the knowledge and skills they acquired in formal education or technical training in order for them to become more responsive to the demands of the labor market. It will be implemented by the province’s Public Employment Services Office (PESO) headed by Francisco “Bombit” Heler, Jr. in coordination with the technical team from DOLE-6. Heler said a total of 200 slots are open for the program with a budget of P43,550 per recipient or a total of PhP 8,710,000. Target recipients are out-of-school youths or “at-risk youth” from 18-24 years old. Specifically, Heler said, qualified recipients are those not currently working or enrolled in high school training, with less than one year or no work experience and at least high school graduate.
The JobStart program includes: 10-day Life Skills Training, Technical Training for a maximum of three months, and Internship also for a maximum of three months. Both the Life Skills Training and Technical Training have allowances while the employers will provide 75% minimum wage for the Internship. With the MOA already signed, DOLE-6 will soon conduct an employer’s forum to identify the positions that need to be filled and correspondingly the workers they need.
Gov. Defensor thanked DOLE for bringing the JobStart program to the province. He said it will surely help reduce the unemployment rate. The qualified youth are encouraged to file their applications to the Iloilo PESO, third floor, Iloilo Provincial Capitol.