Reassessment of job creation is essential – Ministry of Labor

Staff reporter

“THE Namibian labor market faces inadequate employment opportunities in the face of a growing unemployed population, especially young people between the ages of 15 and 34. Despite the many initiatives taken by the government since independence to solve the problem, unemployment, or rather underemployment, has continued to rise. This situation therefore raises the question of whether national job creation initiatives or strategies are relevant or adequate to respond to the problems we want to solve. An honest reassessment of our work and our strategies is crucial.

The above are the sentiments of Acting Executive Director Ambassador Balbina Daes Pienaar on the occasion of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Job Creation (MLREC) Job Creation Retreat ).

The ministry’s efforts come at a time when the unemployment rate in the country is steadily rising.
In 2012, the unemployment rate stood at 27.4% and in 2013 it rose to 29.6%.

Furthermore, the results of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) 2014 indicate that the unemployment rate decreased slightly to 28.1%. However, in 2016 it increased to 34% and in 2018 it decreased slightly to 33.4%.

“When I joined the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Job Creation three months ago, the first assignment I received from Minister Utoni Nujoma was to ensure that an internal retreat on job creation takes place as soon as possible. The minister has indicated to me that job creation is his top priority and that a thorough and brutally honest review of the department’s work to fulfill its mandate to promote and coordinate job creation is needed,” said Pienaar.

She added that the objectives of the retreat are to enhance the understanding of senior and middle managers in the ministry on the elements and dynamics of job creation and the state of job creation initiatives in Namibia.

In addition to this, she added that the workshop will clarify and strengthen the role of MLREC in relation to job creation, including a review of its programs. Pienaar said the ministry will also maximize job creation in the short, medium and long term.

“I understood that job creation is a complex permanent project that requires maximum policy coherence, an effective and inclusive job creation strategy that can overcome structural unemployment, informality, inequalities and gaps in skills, and strong coordination between ministries, public enterprises, the private sector, education and training institutions and civil society. This is the context that should inform our discussions during this retreat”, said Pienaar.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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