(Bloomberg) — The Philippine government is trying to retrain hundreds of thousands of Filipino workers who are returning jobless from overseas as the pandemic batters economies around the globe.
Already struggling with unemployment that spiked to record levels when the pandemic hit, the Southeast Asian nation is bracing for nearly 300,000 overseas Filipino workers — like caretakers, maids and seamen — to return home this year. The government is offering free programs to reskill these workers for jobs such as call-center agents, teachers and contact tracers.
More than 5,000 returnees have already applied for the training, with health care, technology and tourism courses the top choices.
Representatives from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration assist migrant workers at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City, Feb. 2020.
Photographer: Geric Cruz/Bloomberg
Among the returning workers is