Unemployment is on the rise in the Philippines, according to the National Statistics Office Labor Force Survey, with figures reaching 7.5% in April 2013 compared to 6.9% a year earlier. Around half of those unemployed are aged 15-24.
The Shell-developed and operated Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project helps tackle this problem through its social performance programme Bridging Employment through Skills Training (BEST) implemented by Malampaya’s social arm – the Malampaya Foundation, Inc. (MFI). BEST equips out-of-school youths and unemployed but able individuals in communities where Malampaya facilities operate with vocational and life skills that they need to become more productive citizens with brighter futures.
BEST scholars undergo technical-industrial vocational skills training in welding, pipe-fitting, piping insulation, scaffolding, various construction skills, machining, among others. The graduates are likewise provided assistance in landing jobs through Industry Networking (I-Net)—a scheme that links trainees to industries in need of skilled workers. Between 2007 and early 2014, the programme benefited almost 2,000 Filipinos in Batangas, Oriental Mindoro and Palawan.
“Many things have changed in my life – especially with what I earn now,” shares Bayani Bayta, who used to be a farmer earning just enough to survive day-to-day.
He received technical training, including how to perform in line with the health, safety, security and environmental standards of international oil and gas and construction industries. Now he is working on the Malampaya Phase 3 Project, the first offshore gas platform to be fully built in the Philippines.
Watch the video, “Searching for Hope: The Story of the BEST Palawan Scholars” to discover more about how we bring out the best in young Filipinos.
Click HERE to read more about BEST and the Malampaya Foundation.