AFTER 10 days of life skills training (LST), the chosen Job Starters in the two pilot sites in Davao Region are now ready to face the “real world.”

“We were able to change in the span of ten days though change did not happen immediately but it happened gradually, I can see transformations of my classmates and even myself each day,” said Hans Christian Castillo, one of the JobStarters during their graduation ceremony.

“To be honest, in the beginning of LST it seemed obligatory to us because all we ever wanted was to secure a job, a regular job. But we were thinking we could be waiting for years and still be unemployed,” Castillo confessed adding that their perception about the program changed as the day went by during their training.

Castillo is only one out of the 214 JobStarters LST graduates under the JobStart Philippines program here in Davao Region.

Last April 29, 2016, 119 JobStarters from Tagum City and 95 JobStarters from Davao City, the pilot areas of JobStart in the region, finished the 10-day training which mainly focused on attitudes to work and workplace environment, job hunting skills and networking, personal branding and interpersonal skills, and health and financial management.

Jobstart Philippines is a DOLE implemented project in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and the government of Canada. It is being implemented through the local PESO offices of the target areas.

Qualified “JobStarters” will undergo ten days of life skills training, up to three months of JobStart-funded technical training and another three months of work experience with a “matched” employer/establishment. The interns in return will be receiving at least 75% of the minimum wage in the relevant city/municipality.

DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao in his speech said that the transformation of the JobStarters is really visible as he referred to how they look and behave during their graduation ceremonies.

“You have been taught with the right attitudes, the right values. So that is why we are very confident that after two weeks you are now ready for our hard skills training if there is a need or for your internship in an actual work environment,” Director Suyao said in his message to the graduates.

Director Suyao also thanked the parents and guardians of the JobStarters for their encouragement and support.

“Thank you very much to our parents and our guardians of these job starters; you have been the wind beneath their wings,” he added.

Other than Director Suyao, the graduation held in the two areas, was graced by DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment Division Chief Ruth R. Rodriguez, ADB Youth Research Designer Julia Safarova and local officials namely Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon, Vice-Mayor Geterio T. Gementiza, Tagum PESO Manager Rogineth P. Llanos, Davao City Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Lawyer Neil Dalumpines and Davao PESO Manager Philip Nidea.

With 120 JobStarters each per area for the LST 119 graduated in Tagum City and 95 graduated in Davao City.

After the LST, the JobStarters are now on their second phase which will be the job matching for employment or technical training under their chosen employer.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLEXI