News Categories: Highlights

23 Feb
By: MLSS Webmster 2 1

Formation of the Technical Advisory Committee on Employment at the Golden Tulip-Kimbima Hotel

TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT

The general public is hereby informed that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) and Employment Promotion Programme (EPP III), in collaboration with key stakeholders have concluded one-day workshop on the formation of the Technical Advisory Committee on Employment at the Golden Tulip-Kimbima Hotel, Aberdeen, Freetown on the 30th January 2018.

In 2014, the Government of Sierra Leone developed the National Employment Policy and Action Plan (NEP) which sets out the principal employment strategies for 2015 to 2018. The NEP document is based on consultations at all levels and is intended to catalogue measures identified as important by key stakeholders in the labour market to serve the needs of Employers, Employees, jobseekers and groups facing labour market barriers. The inaugural meeting and working session of the Technical Advisory Committee on Employment was organized in fulfilment of the implementation strategy of the NEP document which states that there should be an established Technical Advisory Committee on Employment to enhance the work of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Employment.

Mr. Charles Tom Kamada, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Security explained that the main purpose of the workshop was to officially establish the NEP Technical Advisory Committee on Employment to service the Inter-ministerial Committee on Employment. He said several attempts have been made in the past to convene the NEP Inter-ministerial committee but failed due to lack of cooperation from MDAs. He called on MDAs to join the Team and lay the enabling environment for employability, thus advising them to be committed and share lessons learnt/ experiences to achieve the desired goals of the NEP. He said the technocrats present will be the foundation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee which will work to address youth employment, job creation and information sharing on employability in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Ralf Zimmermann, Programme Coordinator of EPP, said the Employment Promotion Programme (EPP) under the supervision of GIZ will give support to youth employment and capacity building. He said the overall goal of EPP III is geared towards sustainably improving young people’s income and employment situation in agricultural and MSME businesses. Within this objective, the Programme will also support the NEP to provide better management of unemployment, create opportunities for employment creation and decent work.

 

During his presentation, the Consultant Samuel J. Brima from the University of Sierra Leone, who assisted in the drafting of the document, outlined some of the NEP objectives:

  • Provide decent work for all who are available and willing to work, including vulnerable groups, within the framework of the overall national development process
  • Provide an enabling macroeconomic and sectoral policy environment for employment –generating investments, especially in the private sector.
  • Improve skills development through the expansion of demand-driven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) including entrepreneurial training, especially among young men , women and PWDs
  • Promote the use of labour-intensive technologies in public works programmes and local economic development to create employment and sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable groups in both urban and rural sectors of the economy
  • Promote the development of the private sector to become a major source of new productive employment and income-earning opportunities
  • Improve and strengthen the legal and institutional framework for labour administration including LMIS for labour market monitoring and employment policy implementation.

In his keynote address, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Matthew Teambo said the National Employment Policy (NEP) was launched in May 2016 by HE President Koroma and since then, the policy has been popularized in Bo (south) in 2016, Magburaka (north) in 2017. He stressed the importance of the policy as the government’s principal employment strategy for 2015-2018 and moving forward with its implementation is paramount, especially considering the delays that have occurred for the creation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee. He said jobs are created by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Human Resources Management Office (HRMO) respectively without any reference to the Ministry of Labour.

The Minister also maintained that the lack of a Labour Market monitoring tool to provide reliable labour market data for government and other stakeholders is a serious challenge. The Minister informed the gathering that the existing outdated labour laws of Sierra Leone have been reviewed in 2017 and submitted to the Law Officers Department for legal drafting and to the ILO for vetting. He also reminded participants of government action to re-introduce a new national minimum wage in 2015 to reduce under payment of employees in all sectors of the economy and to improve the standards of living of the lowest paid workers in the country.

The Minister disclosed that the Ministry of Labour has deployed Labour Officers and Occupational Safety and Health Officers to the regional offices of the Ministry to provide employment and OSH services to the public at all levels. He highlighted that without putting together the framework on which the Inter-Ministerial Committee can work, they cannot successfully achieve expected outcomes. He thus admonished all participants to work hard to come up with a document to guide our ministers in the Inter-Ministerial Committee in making informed decisions on employment in Sierra Leone.

Presentations on the NEP document and its implementation status was made to bring participants up-speed and updated on the level of implementation and challenges. Presentation on the present and future interventions of the Employment Promotion Programme III of the German International Cooperation (GIZ) was also made. Plenary (round table) discussion on the NEP implementation gaps and challenge of employment and skills development was held. The discussants were drawn from the Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) – State House, Sierra Leone Export and Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), and the University of Sierra Leone (USL). After all of these, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Skills training for persons with disability conditions Training of Technical and vocational education teachers
  2. Skills training and entrepreneurship development for the youths
  3. Development of the supply value chains of the various sectors to support economic growth
  4. Introduction of a flexible educational system
  5. Developing and linking the local economy
  6. To involve other relevant MDAs to be part of the NEP Technical Advisory Committee on Employment
  7. Establishment of a Basket Fund for the implementation of the National Employment Policy
  8. The draft Labour bill should be enacted
  9. The Ministry of Education Science and Technology and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and its supervising agency, the National Youth Commission (NaYCOM) should be encouraged to be part of Technical Advisory Committee on Employment
  10. The Technical and Vocational Education institutions should be considered as tertiary institutions and as such be accorded all the benefits of tertiary institutions
  11. The Ministries of Labour, Education and Youth Affairs to agree on coordination frame work for the implementation of the NEP document
  12. Capacity building of the Ministry of Labour
  13. Establishment of a Labour Market Information System (LMIS)
  14. Training programmes of Technical and vocational institutions should be demand driven rather than supply driven
  15. Promotions in the civil service should be conducted according to government laid down procedures
  16. Conduct regular public education on the functions of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security
  17. The MLSS to liaise with the Strategy and Policy Unit in convening the NEP Inter-ministerial Committee
  18. The establishment of Sub-committees on education, Trade, immigration, Child Labour etc
  19. Collaboration between the MLSS and other MDAs should be strengthen
  20. Development of a communication strategy for the NEP Technical Committee
  21. Development of a Qualification Framework
  22. Effective Monitoring and Evaluation of the policy
  23. Regular meetings of the Technical Advisory Committee on Employment
  24. Review of the NEP document

The workshop was attended by representatives from Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency; International Labour Organization; Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs; United States Embassy; Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure; Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources; Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security; Ministry of Trade and Industry; Fourah Bay College (USL);  Strategy and Policy Unit; Sierra Leone Local Content Agency; Sierra Leone Employment Federation; Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Employment Promotion Programme.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) GIZ has been almost continuously working in Sierra Leone since 1963 only interrupted by the outbreak of the civil war in 1991. Although the country has achieved stability since the end of the civil war, living conditions remain precarious for a majority of people. GIZ supports Sierra Leone in the areas of employment promotion, infrastructure development, raw materials governance, and health system reform.
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