Top labour exporter Philippines may use foreign workers to plug shortfall
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines, one of the world's top labour-exporting nations, is suffering shortages in more than one hundred occupations and is considering proposals to hire skilled foreign workers, officials said Thursday.
Large numbers of Filipinos are leaving the country in search of work abroad, but there is now such a skills serious shortage in some professions at home - including architecture, aviation, and chemical engineering - that the government may have to bring in outsiders.
"There is a request from industry recommending... opening 15 categories of highly skilled occupations to possible foreign employment on account of shortages in local supply," President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Herminio Coloma said.
Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said its most recent survey, which projected labour demand for the next seven years, found overall there were 272 "in-demand" occupations, such as nursing and teaching and 110 "hard-to-fill" occupations.