GIS – 18 September 2018: A first batch of 100 graduates are being given placement in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the SME Employment Scheme , a measure announced in Budget 2018/2019 and targeting some 1 000 unemployed graduates. The Scheme is in line with the strategy of the Government to create job opportunities for young graduates while supporting the development of SMEs.
The ceremony for the handing over of placement offers was held yesterday at the Cyber Tower 1 in Ebene in the presence of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Chairperson of the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC), Mr L.A Gunness Balnock, the Chairman of SME Mauritius Ltd, Mr Peter Neubert and other personalities.
In his keynote address, Minister Bholah underscored that the Scheme is being implemented at an opportune time when Government wants to transform the country into a High Income economy by developing an inclusive business climate. He highlighted that a sum of some Rs 350 million has been disbursed by the Government for the introduction of the SME Employment Scheme, which is being implemented by the SME Mauritius Ltd in collaboration with the HRDC.
He underlined that the Scheme will enable unemployed graduates to expand their skills and competencies in a real world situation and also address the issue of unemployment in a certain manner. At the same time, SMEs will be able to improve their performance and productivity with the support of a skilled labour force endowed with innovative ideas, he pointed out. Since the youth is more at ease with the use of technology and can easily adapt to digitalisation, the smooth operation of SMEs embracing technological advancement is inevitable, highlighted the Minister.
He observed that the search for jobs can be a stressful moment for the youth who have a tendency to ignore SMEs when they look for employment. Hence, he pointed out, the SME Employment Scheme will contribute to get rid of these misconceptions and convince the youth about the key responsibility of SMEs in the creation of jobs. SMEs in Mauritius, he added, constitute of some 55% of total employment which is in itself a testimony of the crucial role that the SME sector plays in the economic and social cohesion of the country.
For his part, the Chairperson of the HRDC, Mr L.A Gunness Balnock, underlined that the Scheme will also help address a number of existing challenges as regards youth unemployment and the inability of SMEs to recruit graduates. He expressed satisfaction with regard to the number of applications received while adding that up to now, some 700 graduates and 200 SMEs have shown their intent of benefitting from the SME Employment Scheme. He called on the graduates to give proof of their skills and competencies and urged SMEs to fully harness the potentials of these youngsters.
SME Employment Scheme
The Scheme has the following objectives: provide skills to SMEs; boost the employability of young graduates; trigger a culture of entrepreneurship in the youth; and support SMEs financially to retain services of a graduate. Employment under this Scheme will generally cover a period of two years and renewed after the first year upon satisfactory completion.
A monthly stipend of Rs 14,000 based on attendance will be provided to each graduate during this period while the employer will pay the monthly travelling costs.
Application forms are available at SME Mauritius Ltd and all the regional office located at Bel Air, Goodlands, Coromandel and Mahebourg. The forms can also be downloaded from the website of SME Mauritius Ltd at www.smemu.org or from the website of the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives at http://enterbusiness.govmu.org.
The registrations for the SME Employment Scheme will be open again shortly.