By Petronella Sibeene
The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is in the process of preparing an Employment Services Bill that will create a national information system to record all job vacancies.
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Alpheus !Naruseb said that in an effort to promote job placements, the ministry would introduce the bill to track information on the skills and competencies of employees and jobseekers, as well as scholarships and apprenticeship opportunities.
Employers such as government will be required by law to provide regular returns to the National Employment Bureau to be created by the envisaged legislation.
The bill will also require registration of private employment referral services and will further regulate and support their activities.
The ministry, according to the minister, is also working with the Social Security Commission to ensure full implementation of the Development Fund established by the Social Security Act.
The fund will cater for training schemes and employment projects for the benefit of the unemployed.
The fund will also be used to grant bursaries, loans and other forms of financial aid to students enrolled at technical or academic institutions of higher learning.
“This will make it possible for retrenched workers to undergo training and retraining in order to secure jobs for themselves,” the minister said.
The minister was speaking during the Women’s Action for Development (WAD) field day held in the Erongo Region recently.
WAD trained 142 students in various skills of development at Henties Bay.
The training provides an opportunity for the youth to find job placements in the labour market or to start their own income generating projects.
The minister commended WAD for taking a lead in empowering the rural poor through training.
!Naruseb said it is indisputable that Namibia like any other developing country grapples with high levels of unemployment and poverty.
“Employment creation is one of the biggest challenges facing the Namibian government today,” !Naruseb said.
Despite the enactment of several policies in favour of employment creation and opportunities, the minister said there has been only a slight increase in employment growth while unemployment has drastically increased in the past five years.
The unemployment rate stands at 37 percent.
Lack of skills suitable for the job market remains one of many reasons contributing to the status quo.
He said Namibia should strive to promote a culture of skills acquisition and life-long learning so that jobseekers and employees can improve and maintain their employability.