Government tackles unemployment

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) has launched its new Samoa National Employment Policy (S.N.E.P.) and Labour Market Information System (L.M.I.S.).

The launch was held at Taumeasina Island Resort on Friday.

“The most important part of government is to establish and develop policies and initiatives that would help and advance the social and economic well-being of all Samoans,” the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Purcell said in his opening address. “One key aspect to achieving this is to address the issue of employment or rather unemployment.”

S.N.E.P. and L.M.I.S. are two such initiatives to increase employment opportunities. 

S.N.E.P. is a comprehensive document that provides a framework to improve the quality of life through productive employment. There are four key aspects in achieving this.

First to strengthen the market demand by ensuring decent employment and creating more opportunities for the seasonal workers in Australia and New Zealand. The document also addresses rural unemployment and the rural migration drift.

Second to strengthen labour market supply by developing human capital and and improving the education in order to increase the employability of Samoans.

Third, an effective and efficient labour market system will strengthen employment policy and institutions.

The S.N.E.P. also implements an action plan and establishes a national employment council that will be responsible for creating an efficient economic environment.

The L.M.I.S. is an electronic jobseekers service, collecting, evaluating and providing market information to the labour demand and supply side. The Minister explains that the system allows jobseekers to register their details, experiences and qualifications such as personal information, CV and references and employers can then seek for employees to fill in positions. 

The government aims to ensure the transparency on the supply and demand market , a fast access to job offers and the use of all available possibilities to support market functions. 

“If people have access to the right information about available jobs, they are more likely to gain employment. If more people find jobs, the income increases, the standard of living increases and therefore the well-being of society improves.” “With the Samoa National Employment Policy we have a roadmap to deal with employment issues and with Labour Market Information System  we have a tool that provides us relevant and specific information.”

The initiatives were supported by the International Labour Organization (I.L.O.) which funded the S.N.E.P. and the Government of Australia which funded the L.M.I.S with 78,078 Tala.

The I.L.O. Officer in Charge for the Pacific Region Satoshi Sasaki is confident that Samoa is ready to face global challenges in job creation with the help of the new initiatives.

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