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2.3M Philippine youth in poor working conditions - ILO, 4 April 2012 - Some 2.3 million young Filipinos were in vulnerable forms of employment in 2010, the International Labour Organization said.

Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines, said the global economic crisis has worsened unemployment among the young people or those aged between 15 and 24.

According to the 2011 Philippine Labor Force Survey, 1.5 million young people, aged 15 to 24 were unemployed. On average, young people are more likely to be unemployed than adults. The situation was further aggravated by the global financial crisis, Globally, 74.8 million youth aged 15 to 24 were unemployed in 2011, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007.

"For some youth, the challenge of finding employment can be daunting. Those who are not able to transition into decent and productive work can be overcome by a sense of frustration and negativity during a time that is meant to be full of hope," Johnson said.

Johnson also said that the issue of vulnerable employment must be addressed by the government.

"This is of equal or greater concern as they are often left with little choice but to accept or create whatever work they can find, just so they and their loved ones can survive," Johnson said. He said vulnerable employment is often characterized by inadequate earnings, poor working conditions, lack of social protection such as social security or health insurance, and social dialogue.

In an effort to help address these concerns and to promote youth employment, the National Youth Commission has invited youth leaders and representatives to take part in crafting the National Action Plan on Youth Employment and Migration. Together with the Department of Labor and Employment’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (DOLE-BWSC) workshop participants came up with seven strategies that is based on the paper “Alternative Pathways: Toward Charting an Actionable Framework for Youth Employment and Migration.”

The seven strategies include: promote youth employment rich opportunities; realize responsive education, training, and career coaching modalities; improve labour market information systems; strengthen workers’ rights awareness and social protection initiatives; harness migration gains and minimize its risks; provide meaningful voice and representation venues; and promote cultural and heritage appreciation.

This forum will serve as a platform for young people, policy-makers and the social partners to dialogue on the results of the National Action Plan for Youth Employment and Migration in the Philippines, exchange views on the local national youth employment situation and to share good practices. The forum will also contribute to raising awareness on the urgency of promoting decent and productive work for youth. Results and conclusions of the forum will be part of the global discussion on the youth employment crisis at the 101th Session of the International Labour Conference.

The Forum was organized together with the Department of Labor and Employment Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), the National Youth Commission (NYC) in partnership with the MDG Fund Joint Programme on Alternatives to Migration: Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth funded by the government of Spain.


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