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There are two million jobs available for migrants in the European Union, said EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux, according to GMA news. Despite record high unemployment and fragile economies, there are still employment opportunities, particularly for overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
“While emigration is not the only answer to fill skill gaps, it is certainly part of a common solution supportive of the EU’s economic growth strategy,” explained Ledoux, citing the European region’s aging population and shrinking workforce for the need to hire migrants.
Hans Leo Cacdac, administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said, “The demand for OFWs is clear. The challenge is to translate demand into access and action. Private sector stakeholders and/or government offices in the Philippines and EU, at bilateral or multilateral levels, need to commit labour market potential into fruition.”
This comes on the back of a recent report that a job fair in the Philippines was unable to attract enough applicants to apply for the more than 2,000 job opportunities, including some to work abroad.
Ledoux stated that migration is the key to Europe’s success, as it is quickly becoming an economic and societal necessity. He highlighted the EU-funded €2.8 million joint project for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas that was launched this week. The project, entitled ‘Advancing Regional Cooperation on International Migration among Southeast Asian countries’, aim to ease the migration process among Asian neighbours.
In a recent OECD report, EU Commissioner Cecillia Malmstrom stated, “Demographic changes and skills shortages in certain sectors are a reality. The question is not whether we need migrants, but how to make the most of migration. We of course need to make sure of the skills and talents we already have in Europe, but at the same time, in order to ensure our suture prosperity and economic growth, we need to establish a demand driven by labour immigration policy.”