Up for Grabs: Over 180,000 Open Jobs for High School Graduates

Both permanent and contractual positions are among the available 180,000 jobs for high school graduates, says the country’s labor department.

In her Basic Education Report 2023 speech, Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte expressed “Today, most Senior High School graduates find the need to pursue higher education in order to find employment.”

“For Senior High School, our work immersion program has contributed to a high passing rate of 90 percent in the National Certificate assessment administered by TESDA,” she said in her speech. “However, industry partners have expressed concern that the time allotment for work immersion is only for familiarization and not for actual skills acquisition.” 

In fact, the National Senior High School tracer study that was conducted by the Bureau of Curriculum Development shows that 83% of SHS graduate respondents chose to pursue further education, while only 10% have been employed. 

To address the lack of jobs for high school graduates, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) revealed that over 180,000 jobs are open for high school graduates. What’s more, these job openings are available on its website portal, PhilJobNet

Available Jobs for High School Graduates

According to DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment, the available job openings include both permanent and contractual jobs. As of May 2023, the following jobs for high school graduates are available:

  • Call center agents
  • Cashiers
  • Domestic helpers
  • Production helpers
  • Production machine operators
  • Production workers 
  • Quality assurance inspectors
  • Sales associate professionals 
  • Service crew
  • Technical assistants

The Need to Improve the SHS Curriculum

“Research shows that the companies are open to employing SHS graduates, however, the positions are limited to clerical work, for customer service representatives with script, massage therapists, and etc.,” DOLE’s Alexis Gabriel Habito told the House Committee on Basic Education, according to ABS-CBN News.

“Employers deem that the current SHS graduates do not have skills for work, hence are only field for rank and file or blue-collar positions,” Habito added. 

Key Takeaways

While the SHS curriculum has much room for improvement, this should not stop both the government and companies from hiring SHS graduates for job vacancies that match their skills and competencies. Doing so can help improve the country’s youth unemployment rate, which was recorded at 6.34% in 2022. 

However, helping these SHS graduates does not stop simply by providing them employment. Companies can further help employed SHS graduates grow and further their careers by providing training programs, seminars, and other avenues through which they can learn and develop skills.