Govt job creation strategy struggles

20 April 2018 Author   Kaula Nhongo
Only 20 percent of the job seekers who registered on the Namibia integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS) last year managed to get employment, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina, said this week in Parliament.
The information management system and employment matchmaking facility is designed to collect, store and update information concerning vacancies in the labour market, as well as information on employers in Namibia and the names and qualifications of job seekers.
“Disappointingly, only the small number of 3,116 jobseekers out of the 15,569 registered job seekers could be placed in employment,” the minister said.
Nghimtina said this demonstrates that there are serious structural challenges in a component of the employment creation strategy that is intended to provide both fair opportunities to all who seek employment and to meet employers hiring needs.
He said the absence of compulsory registration or reporting by each employer of every job created in the country was one of the shortcomings of the employment creation strategy.
“Employment creation requires a serious and targeted approach and not only political and social talks without offering viable alternative.  ... If the economy cannot grow and cannot create the necessary job opportunities, then it should be redesigned and remodelled,” he said.
Thus, the ministry has resolved to allocate about N$33 million to revise the NIEIS to ensure that every job that is being created is recorded by the State.
“I am pleased to inform you that in May 2018, the ministry will embark upon a three-year programme of technical cooperation with the Republic of Korea to update and upgrade the NIEIS to produce a dynamic, inclusive, reliable and effective mechanism to facilitate employment creation in Namibia and to serve as a world class model especially for developing countries.”
The ministry has also commenced research and analysis to determine the feasibility of introducing a national minimum wage for Namibia.
Namibia’s unemployment rate increased to 34 percent of the working population in 2016 from 28.1 percent in 2014.
The survey showed that 349,383 Namibians were unemployed out of an estimated labour force of 1.5 million. The majority of the labour force, 20.1 percent, was employed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) recently, President Hage Geingob said the need for the country to promote relevant skills through quality vocational education and training remains a priority.
Enrolment in vocational training programs in Namibia increased from 28,571 in 2017 to 32,120 by the end of March 2018.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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