Teamwork key to job creation targets

Women and youth will take centre stage in the second decent work programme Namibia and the ILO signed this week.

09 August 2018 | Local News

A second decent work programme developed by Namibia and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to boost jobs, especially for Namibian youth and women, and to improve social work protections, as well as strengthening social dialogue and industrial relations, was signed on Tuesday.

At the signing of the memorandum of understanding on Namibia's second decent work country programme (DWCP), Guy Rider, director-general of the ILO stressed that successful implementation of the programme requires cross-cutting input, not only from employers and employees, but government.

“We know that creating effective employment policies and generating jobs, requires elements that include training, education, industrialisation, finance, and planning. I think this coordination across government is going to be an important ingredient in implementation and an important precondition of success.”

Ryder said crucial to the success of the DWCP over the next five years is an emphasis on shared responsibility. “The efforts of the ILO alone will not get the job done. National ownership and national commitment is of fundamental importance.”

He said the second programme contains a number of elements that were carried over from the first DWCP, and emphasised that jobs remain a priority “for very obvious reasons”.

Ryder noted that while much has been achieved around the first DWCP with Namibia “the fact that we are still faced with unacceptably high levels of unemployment indicates that we have an unfinished job to do.”

He said the second programme was developed in line with lessons learned from the experience on the first Namibia DWCP and it will continue to be a learning process.

The ILO director-general noted that some might accuse the second Namibia DWCP of being over-ambitious.

“My answer to that is that it is not realistic to be less ambitious, because this programme meets the needs of the moment.”

Labour minister Erkki Nghimtina at the signing said teamwork will be key to the success of the implementation of the programme, which he said could markedly address the high rate of youth unemployment.

He said teamwork is not only required with the ILO but between all Namibians, including unions in order to benefit the youth.

Tim Parkhouse of the Namibia Employers Federation (NEF) said the high level of unemployment in Namibia, which stands at 34% currently, should mobilise everyone to work together.

“We've seen the reports of how many people are now unemployed, and if we don't address that together over the next five years, then we will have failed.”

Three are key

Labour permanent secretary Bro-Mathew Shinguadja explained yesterday that the programme was designed with input from government, employers and workers representatives who debated on the issues resulting in the current programme.

He said the key targets and outcomes linked to priority concerns, attached to feedback and evaluation guidelines to ensure timely implementation, are based on a “win-win approach”.

The DWCP is based on three key priorities, the first which is listed as coordinating and maximising employment creation, with one outcome under this target stated as achieving “decent employment and economic opportunities for all, especially youth and women”.

The second priority target is to strengthen social dialogue and industrial relations, which among several outcome goals, intends to strengthen collective bargaining processes and to improve labour dispute prevention and resolution systems.

The third priority is the promotion of social justice at work places, and stated outcomes under this target include analysing the findings on a national living wage, and the ratification of conventions on maternity protection, domestic workers and family responsibility.


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