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More than two-thirds of 9,820 sugarcane workers in Region II need skills enhancement training in order to advance to the medium-skilled labor market, reveals a study by the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS).

The sugarcane workers, whose monthly earnings range from P1,000 to P5,000, have current jobs considered low-skilled and unskilled, explained in part by their non-completion of secondary education.

The ILS paper, presented by Bernard Mangulabnan during the Luzon Island Cluster Consultation on Human Resource Development Master Plan in the Sugarcane Industry at the Lancaster Hotel, Mandaluyong City on Jan. 8, further shows that almost all the workers profiled with low-skilled and unskilled jobs are women, earning not more than P5,000 per month.

Very few with stable employment

Around seven in 10 sugarcane workers also deal with seasonal jobs, aside from low wages. Only six percent have a stable or regular employment, most of whom are mill workers.

Fieldworkers constitute around 95% of the profiled population; many of whom are employed on a seasonal basis. Less than five percent of the respondents are mill workers and small planters or cultivators.

Mangulabnan also found that the respondents have 95 single skills, primarily cooking, driving and carpentry.

He adds that the other sources of income of the sugarcane workers in Region II include crop production, livestock raising, fishing, and food processing.

The study was first presented during the 3rd DOLE Research Conference on Decent Work in December 2014. – With a report from ILS on-the-job trainee, Dennis Mopera

You may download a copy of the study here: Monograph Series of 2014 No. 10 – Skills Profiling of Workers in the Sugarcane Industry

The Institute for Labor Studies is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. For more information on this story, please contact Mr. Ronell J. Delerio of the Advocacy and Publications Division, Institute for Labor Studies at telephone nos. 5273490/257-3447.