Employment up by 24%, says minister


Minister Alexander addressing the guests and delegates at yesterday’s opening ceremony

The national employment figures, which were compiled by the ministry and the National Bureau of Statistics, have gone up from 41,342 adults in employment to 51,426, with less than 3% of the workforce remaining unemployed.

Ms Alexander said that in comparison to other small nations, the figures are favourable, but she warned that integrated policy interventions need to be explored to ensure continual improvement, which is the reason her ministry is reviewing the National Employment Policy of 1999.

Yesterday’s opening ceremony of a two-day validation workshop on the National Employment Policy was attended by Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joël Morgan, Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange, Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon, the director of the International Labour Organisation country office, Christian Ntsay, the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly David Pierre, Attorney-General Rony Govinden, Secretary of State Mohammed Afif and other members of the National Assembly.

Based on the findings of the technical research and the proposed policy framework, Ms Alexander observed that the proposed National Employment Policy places a very strong emphasis on capacity building to respond to the needs of the labour market.

“Despite notable efforts being made in this area, we need to continuously bring our post-secondary training institutions closer to the realities of the industry,” said Ms Alexander.
“This will ensure that training programmes meet the requirements of the labour market and the employability of post-secondary graduates will increase and they will become more familiar with the demands of the trade.”

Dr Gerard Adonis, the consultant to the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development on the National Employment Policy, said that a number of challenges had been identified in the local labour market which urgently needs addressing.

Some of the challenges include the fluctuating exchange rate, escalating inflation, the high costs of production, skills shortages, a growing informal sector, emigration of skilled workers, high proportions of the population suffering from chronic illnesses, increase of substance abuse among the youth and an increasingly ageing population.

Dr Adonis also asked the assembled delegates if the government should consider creating greater incentives for Seychellois women to have more children, thereby increasing the potential workforce of the future, a topic which he said was sure to generate interesting debate in the workshop.

Ms Alexander said that the aim of the new policy is to improve conditions for workers and contribute to the productive and sustainable economic growth of the country.

“We need a practical employment policy to guide our work, our future and ensure better prospects for generations to come. The new national employment policy contains provisions to improve the employability of jobseekers, ensure good working conditions, job security, equal opportunities and a conducive climate for employment creation,” she said.

“A student, a teacher, a jobseeker, a plumber, a farmer, an accountant, a nurse, a person living with a disability – all these members of society should be able to reap the benefits of this policy.”

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