A graduate of the Near Hire Training Program shares how it helped him cope with the pandemic
Unemployment and lack of job opportunities are some of the pressing problems in the Philippines. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this problem, with community quarantine restrictions leading to the closure of several businesses and people losing their jobs and sources of income.
Based on the September 2021 report of the Philippines Statistics Authority, around 4.25 million Filipinos are jobless. Moreover, the employment rate in September dropped to 91.1 percent from 91.9 percent in August 2021. The number of unemployed Filipinos may continue to rise because of limited job opportunities. The pandemic also made it difficult for people to find work.
To help address this problem, Accenture in the Philippines, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Edulynx Corporation leveled up the Near Hire Training (NHT) Program to reach and assist more unemployed Filipinos.
Angelo Flores, a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management and a dance performer, lost his job because of the pandemic. The quarantine restrictions prevented events and gatherings, which used to be Angelo’s leading source of income. He also found difficulty finding a job in hotels and restaurants, which were among the businesses that were significantly affected by quarantine restrictions. His plan to work abroad was also postponed.
“I lost my job last year during the first community quarantine. We couldn’t perform at events, and I couldn’t find a job in either hotels or restaurants. It became difficult to support the daily needs of my family. Thankfully, I learned about the NHT Program. I took the chance and applied. I was accepted into the training program,” shared Angelo.
The NHT Program is a 15-day free training program that develops the marginalized and unemployed into entry-level voice and data encoding agents. Persons with disabilities, indigents, displaced workers, solo parents, and members of the LGBT community are the priority beneficiaries of this program.
“The training also provided us with allowance and helped improve my skills. It also assured me that the training would help me find a job. I am now working in Accenture Philippines as a Platform Experience New Associate,” said Angelo.
Now on its 8th year, the NHT Program shifted to online training because of the pandemic. The program also added training on data encoding. Since the shift to online training in 2020, the program has trained 443 individuals in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces.
Aside from voice and data encoding training, the NHT Program also provides employment support to its graduates such as refresher sessions on job applications and interviews.
“I am grateful to the NHT Program because when I lost my job, I was also losing hope. I didn’t know what to do anymore and even tried being a seller to provide for my family. But the NHT Program gave me hope that there’s a chance for me to strive during the pandemic. It’s difficult to find work nowadays, but thanks to the NHT Program, I was able to get a job,” Angelo shared.
As of November 22, 2021, the NHT Program trained a total of 1,666 individuals of which 1,106 are employed. The program is continuously assisting the graduates in getting hired.
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