President urges youth to make the most of job opportunities | 17 August 2020
President Danny Faure has called on the youth to take opportunities given to them with regards to placement in employment and to make use of those opportunities as the situation is slowly worsening in terms of job availability on the market amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
President Faure made the call while addressing a group of young job seekers, under the Skills Development Programme who were at the employment department in the Ministry of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status at Independence House, undergoing training in relation to employment. The president was at the department as part of his ongoing visits to key services to meet and thank the employees for the work they are doing.
It was after his visit to the department on the fifth floor of independence House Annex, accompanied by Minister Myriam Telemaque and other high officials in her ministry, that President Faure attended the Skills Development Programme briefing to the youths followed by a management meeting.
Speaking to the group of young job seekers, President Faure said that through a recent United Nation’s report, one in sixth youth worldwide are losing their jobs, adding on to the much older people who are also losing their jobs, which further show the unavailability of jobs in the wake of the pandemic.
Still on the subject, President Faure further said that our country has not been spared from the problem of lack of jobs on the labour market which will continue to persist as long as the pandemic goes on.
He encouraged the young people to take the opportunities being offered by government through the schemes (My First Job Scheme targeting youths from professional centres), the Skills Development Programme (targeting youths between 15 years old and 30 years old) and the Unemployment Relief Scheme (targeting vulnerable people) being implemented by the employment department and through the newly formed employment company, the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (Sets), for job application and training.
Since the beginning of the year, 303 young people registered for the Skills Development Programme and by August 12, 2020, only 125 of them are still waiting for a job placement.
“In cabinet we have taken the decision for all of the 125 youths to be given a job placement by the month of September,” President Faure said, noting that the youths in Seychelles are lucky as such programmes do not exist in other countries.
“We are not perfect but we have a heart to nurse all of our citizens and a heart to guide all of our youths,” he added, calling on the youths to show good work attitudes, work hard and to listen and learn from their peers so as to be able to maintain job stability.
President Faure also called on the youths to be grateful and to always remember to thank those that give them the helping hand.
The principal secretary for employment, Jules Baker, said they welcomed the visit by President Faure to the department. He added that the visit had given them (the management) the opportunity to brief him on the challenges the department is facing in terms of availability of jobs on the labour market for the growing number of clients, on the increase in redundancies, the functioning of the different schemes and on the way forward among other topics in regards to employment in the wake of the pandemic.
He noted that though people are losing jobs, the youths are still the most vulnerable as some of them (school leavers from the ages of 15-20 years old) have no baggage in terms of work experience to fight for the limited jobs available on the labour market with the experienced ones.
PS Baker said that while efforts are being made to assist young job seekers, the department is also working hard to assist the over 4,000 people seeking assistance for a job under the URS scheme. He noted that the number was only between 1500 to 2000 people, registered under URS for 2019. To date, 533 Seychellois workers have been made redundant with the number expected to rise in the coming weeks and months.
He stated that President Faure had requested for more consultation and working collaboration with stakeholders in other government ministries, agencies and in the private sector with regard to job opportunities on the labour market.
He added that the President has only tasked the department to plan for its interventions as from January 2021, should the situation on the labour market worsens.