National Human Resource Development Policy and Strategy (2018-2022) | 12 February 2020
Steering committee holds first meeting
The steering committee for National Human Resource Development Policy and Strategy (2018-2022) held its introductory meeting yesterday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education.
This committee was appointed by the Minister for Education and Human Resource Development on September 26, 2019 and its main responsibility is to provide support, leadership, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the policy and strategy.
Chaired by Minister Simeon, the other members who attended the meeting were Dr Linda Barallon, Jules Baker, Benjamin Choppy, Laura Ah-Time, Juliet Gerry, Fabien Palmyre, Nadia Lauricourt, Françoise Mein, John Lesperance and Oliver Bastienne.
Elizabeth Agathine, Fiona Ernesta and Dr Odile de Commarmond were absent for the first meeting.
Why such a committee? The importance of having a National Human Resource Development Strategy was pronounced by the former President, James Michel, in his State-of-the-Nation Address in 2013. He anticipated that Seychelles will need to develop a National Manpower Plan to meet the many evolving needs, arising from its rapid development.
He further noted that the plan will determine the training needs in various fields nationally. Consequently, Seychelles will better plan its future human resource needs and open up new horizons for employment opportunities.
“From this statement, a consulting firm, PROMAN SA, was contracted through an African Development Bank grant to undertake a related consultancy as per defined Terms of Reference. PROMAN SA came to Seychelles in November 2016 to undertake the first phase of the project in order to review the National Human Resource Development Policy and Strategy that was in place. The deliverable of the consultancy were: development of the National Human Resource Development Strategy, review of the National Human Resource Development Policy, development of the training plan template and guide for the Agency for National Human Resource Development, development of a train the trainer course for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, a post-graduate HRD planning module to be offered by the University of Seychelles, and development of a HR Information System and a Scholarship Portal,” explained Minister Simeon.
The National Human Resource Development Policy and the National Human Resource Development Strategy were officially launched on December 18, 2018. The aim of the Strategy is to ensure that Seychelles can transform and build the knowledge and skills base, diversify economic activity and address the skills and expertise gaps, with a strong focus on youth empowerment and employability, and innovative HRM practices.
The Strategy has five pillars and they are:
- Youth empowerment through entrepreneurship facilitating access to the labour market;
- Expansion and strengthening of TVET;
- Making HRD more responsive to labour market and government priorities;
- Enhancing lifelong learning, productivity and workforce development; and
- Institutional development.
“We have started to work on this plan for some years now and finally we are able to gather all those concerned to discuss the implementation of this strategic plan,” noted the minister.
Answering a question about the training of teachers in Seychelles after a big recruitment of expats teachers in the last two years, the minister noted that “we are training teachers but we are unable to maintain them. They are free to move from one job to the other but with the aspiring teacher’s programme we are talking with students in S4 and start preparing them for this vocation”.
The principal secretary for employment, Jules Baker, added that “currently we invest a lot in students who go abroad for studies. But we still lack people to join the public sector. The other factor is the competition from the private sector where there is a need to have a salary structure. The department of employment is a key player on this committee as we are the ones receiving the students after their studies. But in order to be effective we have to work with the private sector to properly manage the students. Now we have to change the strategy and work on the jobs which are highly in demand. Where in the industry the demand is high and what kind of skills is required. For the department of employment, priority is given to Seychellois. We are trying our best to help our youth to get a job and as we speak now 90% of My First Job scheme for 2018 are now employed. We are working with the 2019 batch and opportunities are here. We need to take advantage of it”.
Olivier Bastienne, representative of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that “it is important to view the situation holistically. It is important that we all come together to steer the country. There is no point for each one to tackle the issue of labour alone. I see this meeting as a positive tool for us and would like to request the minister to include the trade unions of employers and employees”.
During this first meeting the participants also talked about their calendar of meetings which will be quarterly.