There’s a promising future waiting for the young generation in Ilocos Region, and the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 1 (DOLE RO1) is keen to guide and prepare them as productive members of the workforce.

Through the Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP), the DOLE RO1 has been providing seminars and lectures to high school and college students all over the region to equip them with vital knowledge on general labor standards and basic workers’ rights.

“This way, we empower these young individuals who, in few years’ time, will become the newest entrants in the country’s labor force,” said Regional Director Atty. Evelyn R. Ramos.

The CGAP includes various modules on career and employment coaching, labor market information, Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking in Persons, Labor Education and Employment Services.

RD Atty. Ramos said CGAP is one of the DOLE’s flagship employment facilitation programs which seeks to shepherd the youth into making informed career decisions.

In 2021, DOLE RO1 visited 67 schools, universities and colleges all over the region to give the lectures, which also highlighted on the most in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations in the region and the entire country. In some of the sessions, particularly at the height of quarantine protocols, virtual platforms were also utilized.

With a total of 67 career advocacy lectures conducted, DOLE RO1 has reached out to a total of 10,145 individuals last year.

For this year 2022, DOLE RO1’s CGAP is already in full swing.

In Ilocos Norte, around 5,604 students from Laoag City, Piddig, Batac and Solsona have joined in the seminars from March to May 2022. In Ilocos Sur, 879 students from the towns of Banayoyo, Cabugao, Sugpon, Santa Maria, Lilidda, Sigay, and Candon City took part.

In La Union, nearly 50 students participated in the lectures, while 1,480 students were reached out in Pangasinan. More CGAP activities are on schedule this year.

Aside from the lectures, DOLE RO1 also gave learning and health materials to the partner-schools. These include bond papers, alcohol and spray bottles, advocacy shirts, and planner notebooks.

“Our CGAP comes in timely with graduation season. This batch is a unique one, as they belong to those who had to shift to virtual learning, as an effect of the pandemic,” RD Ramos said.

“With their peculiar experience, we really need to guide these youngsters so that they face the world of work in the new normal with great confidence, conviction and pride,” she concluded.