GIS - 04 July, 2013: A one-day workshop on Youth Unemployment in Mauritius organised by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), was held yesterday at the Gold Crest Hotel in Quatre Bornes. The objective of the event was to provide a platform for various stakeholders to reflect on the problem of youth unemployment.
Around 60 youths from the tertiary education sector as well as from the various mechanisms put in place to absorb the unemployed youth attended the workshop. The participants are namely from the Youth Employment Programme that consists of Job Placement Programme, Skills Working Group, Service to Mauritius Programme and Industry placement.
The participants will discuss and find concrete solutions to address the social problem of unemployment among youth which is an issue of national importance and considered as a matter of concern both on the local and international fronts. The deliberations will serve towards the drafting of a report on Youth Unemployment in Mauritius and Rodrigues by the NESC which will be released in mid-October this year.
In his speech the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Mr Shakeel Mohamed, called for a concerted effort and collaboration among the different stakeholders namely the Government, the private sector and the civil society to work together to tackle the problem of youth unemployment in Mauritius.
According to him, unemployment among the youth is an alarming situation and in addition to education, youth should also be exposed to vocational training. Mr Mohamed added that Mauritius should adopt employment concepts that are working in other countries while adding that even on the international level, youth unemployment is a major cause of concern which Governments are trying to cope with. He further pointed out that youth should seize the opportunities of employment abroad under the circular migration programmes.
The Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Surendra Dayal, emphasised on the need to sensitise and guide the younger generation on their educational option that will be compatible with their individual interests and aptitude.
Minister Dayal added that it is imperative to inform young people who are about to embark upon an academic education where the future jobs will be so as to remain relevant in this competitive environment in which we are living. Helping the young to increase the self-understanding of their abilities, their values as well as their goals in life is vital, not only for their own personal career but also for the future of the country, he added.
For his part, the Chairperson of the NESC, Mr Radhakrishna Sadien, underlined that with the international financial crisis it has become more difficult for authorities across the world to address the employment problem among the youth, however he added, Mauritius is on the right track to deal with the problem through the creation of various mechanisms to create employment. Mr Sadien underlined that this workshop will serve as a proper platform to listen and register the concerns of the youth on the current educational system, career guidance and skilled required on the labour market.
According to Statistics Mauritius, the youth unemployment rate for the age group 16-24 years stood at 23.7% during the first quarter of 2013, that is, 19,300 unemployed (which represents 37% of total unemployed). Nearly 27 000 young persons below 30 years of age are currently unemployed, that is, more than 50% of total unemployed persons in Mauritius.
A study conducted by the Tertiary Education Commission noted that graduates take about two years on average to obtain a job, irrespective of their fields of study.
On the international front, based on an International Labour Office (ILO), survey, the global youth unemployment rate has increased from 11.6% in 2007 to 12.6% in 2012 and is expected to reach 12.9% in 2017, that is about 75 million youth unemployed.
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