Highly touted as the biggest job fair to hit the country, Jobapalooza 09, which aimed to provide 250,000 career opportunities to jobseekers, was held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, in celebration of Labor Day. DoLE and OWWA officials happily announced in newspapers that a total of 4,292 local and 1,224 overseas workers were hired on the spot. Others, they said, were asked to submit contact numbers and email addresses.
But the question remains: How much of a dent do job fairs create on the unemployment and underemployment situation in the country?
BY JUAN ANGELO HONGO, JOSETTE EMILY DE JESUS, CHARMAINE LIRIO AND KAYE VIRTUSIO
Highly touted as the biggest job fair to hit the country, Jobapalooza 09, which aimed to provide 250,000 career opportunities to jobseekers, was held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, in celebration of Labor Day.
With the Arroyo government as the moving force behind this event, Jobapalooza 09 was supposed to provide “quality jobs to those who are jobless and to give the people equal opportunities.” The event was made possible by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administrations (OWWA).
Job seeking, buffet style
Different companies, all 400 of them, participated in the job fair to give job-seekers a lot of companies and work to choose from. These included retail and merchandise, trading, human resource management, consulting, agriculture, manufacturing, food and beverage, call centers, information technology, business process outsourcing, government, mining, travel and tourism,, construction, engineering, automobile, electronics, transportation logistics, real estate, medical and clinical research, biotechnology, education, media, entertainment, beauty and fitness, hotel, insurance and banking and finance industries.
Globe Telecom, for instance, had two spacious booths at the convention center.
One was for their human resources team, the other was for the promotion of their new product. Fliers also provided opportunities for such companies to promote their products.
Most of these companies said they usually entertain many applicants during job fairs. The actual hiring, however, still depends on the applicants’ abilities and experience.
“Right now, we are looking for people with at least one to three years work experience,” Lissa Sumpalco of Globe said.
Unlike telecommunications companies, BPOs don’t require work experience. “We hire mostly fresh graduates,” a human resource officer for Teletech said.
BPOs are attractive to those who just finished college because of the starting salary of P13,000 to P14,000 ($268 to $289 at the May 2 exchange rate of $1=P48.35).Many jobseekers at the SMX chose to line up and try their luck at these companies.
“Around 30-40 percent of our applicants get hired,” a representative from Accenture said.
The most in-demand jobs were those offered by BPOs, customer service assistance, and international recruitment agencies.
The representatives of the companies, as well as recruitment agencies participating in the job fair, denied to Bulatlat that they were affected by the global economic crisis. They said they will continue to hire workers for as long as they need to. In addition, they said the supply of applicants is actually in balance with their demand for workers.