By Leslie Ann Aquino
Overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar are being wooed by the government to return home for a chance to be employed locally or elsewhere abroad.
The Department of Labor and Employment established a Job Fair Task Force that will conduct a special job fair and skills profiling of OFWs based in the two countries.
The group is headed by DOLE Undersecretary Claro Arellano who is in charge of DOLE’s Legal and International Affairs, and is co-chaired by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
\Other members include the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Bureau of Local Employment, International Labor Affairs Bureau, and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in KSA and Qatar.
In an administrative order issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the supply-demand profiling and skills-job matching will be jointly conducted by the POEA and BLE.
Concerned POLO in the identified countries will do the preliminary skills profiling of the OFWs in coordination with the ILAB.
Through the joint undertaking, POEA and BLE will conduct employers’ forum and gather the number of vacancies, skills requirement, geographical location (local or overseas), as well as determine the companies interested to join the Job Fair.
Also, POEA and BLE shall process the supply and demand profile and come up with labor market information that will serve as a guide for matching of available skills and employer demand for workers.
“OFWs who require further upgrading of skills requirements of the participating employers will be referred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for training prior to their deployment whether local or overseas,” the DOLE said in a statement.
OWWA, on the other hand, will provide the welfare assistance during the conduct of job fairs and which may lead to the repatriation of distressed OFWs.
Earlier, the DOLE said 18,000 jobs here in the country will be made available to displaced OFWs in Saudi and Qatar during the job fair.
A number OFWs have been rendered jobless due to the recent diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).