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Friday, November 24, 2006

Unemployment amonst youth a challenge for all: Siapu

Small Island developing economies like Solomon Islands are experiencing the pressures from a rapidly increasing unemployed youth population.

Speaking during the joint session on Youth Unemployment Consultations which was held recently in Honiara between the Government, Private sector, Trade Unions and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Minister of Commerce, Employment and Industries, Peter Shanel, highlighted that the Grand Coalition for Change Government views the issue of unemployment amongst youth aged 14 – 29, in the country as very important as they constitute the bulk of Solomon Islands population.

Mr Shanel stressed that creating the right environment for employment opportunity is a priority policy and reform area for the present Government.

“My Department as part of the government’s reform is in the process of establishing a tripartite forum to facilitate active consultation with our social partners and stakeholders on a number of cross-cutting issues including employment and labour issues of common concern to all stakeholders”, he said.

Mr Shanel further added that: “it is agreed that increased domestic and foreign investment has a very important part to play in employment creation input from key partners on reforms and deregulation efforts that will make it easier for Solomon Islanders to start their own business…..”

Other areas of importance that the Minister alluded to that would help Solomon Islanders are the provision of training geared to developing prudent business managerial skills and attitudes amongst Solomon Islanders and training that will foster the appreciation for mutually benefiting work place safety measures and best work practices of human resource management that recognizes the dignity, interests and rights of workers and business industry.

Minister Shanel said there is a need for closer consultations between government and social partners on appropriate levels of foreign investment which includes foreign skilled workers.

He added that: “there is a need to have successive planning and means of getting strong commitment by private sector towards technical and managerial skills training in the local labour market”.

The three-day joint session on Youth Unemployment Consultations, which was held at the Iron Bottom Sound Hotel from 13-15 Nov, was coordinated by the Labour Division of the Department of Commerce, Employment and Industries, and facilitated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Source:Government communication unit.

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