Type of job and skills ensures males dominate private sector

Samoa’s formal private sector has always been male-dominated due to the nature of the job and the skills that are in demand.  

So says Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour (MCIL) Assistant CEO (apprenticeship, employment and labour market), Sa’u Taupisi Faamau.  

Talking in reference to the Labour Market Survey – which is undertaken every three years – Sa’u said the trends remained unchanged for the last three surveys.  

“It depends on the skills demands and the required expertise and experiences in the labour market and the preferences of employers, the essential and employers’ criteria in terms of recruitment and selection process,” she said. 

“Survey of employers of the formal private sector conducted by the ministry illustrated an indication that there is competition for both sexes in all types of employment opportunities.” 

Sa’u said the information collected during the 2013 LMS, inclusive of the 2016 survey, indicated that 31 out of 782 employers still pay under the minimum wage of $2.30. 

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She also explained that the 51 per cent increase in the number of foreign employees in the professionals, technicians and associate professionals’ occupation since 2013 ultimately depended on the discretion of local businesses. 

“Some of these foreigners are employed under Government projects,” Sa’u said. 

“This increase does not really indicate skill shortages in Samoa because they (foreigners) are here on temporary work permits and some on Government projects with specialised areas in an ad hoc basis.” 

Sa’u said there are less people who occupy the finance, transport, education, and construction sectors because of people’s preference. 

“It also depends heavily on jobs available or employment opportunities offered by the employers during the survey period.” 

Sa’u said the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (MESC) and training institutions are collaborating to design a curriculum to meet the demands of the labour market. 

“This includes vocational and TVET subjects in colleges or secondary schools, for the students to realise the importance of being a skillful person, instead of just focus on higher education. 

“Overall is to align what is taught in the classroom and the expectation at workplaces, but most importantly is to match the supply and the demands in the labour market.” 

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