Strategic Plan to Raise Egyptian Labor-Force Skills
|Tuesday, August 21,2012 17:24|
Khalid Azhari, Minister of Manpower and Immigration, revealed that the Ministry is reviewing a number of cooperation and partnership contracts signed in the past with some labor-related establishments, with an eye to activating them.
This would ensure that training of Egyptian labor-force will be carried out according to specific criteria and recognized quality standards, in order to provide skilled labor as required for labor markets at home and abroad, within the framework of a comprehensive, all-inclusive national strategic plan for training.
In a statement he made on Monday, Azhari added: "The Ministry is trying to establish rules to allow flexibility of thought, to depart from conventional wisdom of labor-force training and preparation for employment, especially in this important period of our history.
"This will focus on sectors like building and construction, to meet our basic needs for development at home, and also to get ready to meet potential demand of rebuilding and construction in neighboring states such as Libya or Iraq."
The Minister of Manpower and Immigration stressed that structural imbalances in the labor market can only be addressed through a national strategy for vocational training based on a ‘training for employment’ approach.
"A solution will also require the concerted efforts of all authorities and institutions concerned with training, unified under one umbrella, in order to provide the needs of the domestic and regional labor markets, on a systematic basis that will absorb labor market surplus of new medium and high qualifications graduates.
Azhari further explained that in the past two months, the ministry trained 2000 Egyptians through vocational training centers in provinces across Egypt. Suitable employment was secured for 605 of these trainees, after they completed training, in cooperation with the ministry’s Vocational Training Fund.
Azhari said that, for the first time, training centers were commissioned in the governorates of Ismailia and Aswan. Skill levels of 8500 workers were measured. Trade licenses were issued to 10,100 workers during the same two months period. The ministry has completed the identification of training needs at the national level.
Furthermore, the minister declared that he had issued specific instructions to the competent department in the ministry to coordinate with all relevant parties and state authorities concerned with training operations and manpower development, in order to set up a comprehensive national training project and to identify mechanisms and policies required for it to succeed.
"This project will seek to achieve the ministry’s goal of reducing unemployment and absorbing the steady annual increase in the labor market through transformational training, vocational guidance and professional preparation."
Moreover, the Minister of Manpower and Immigration revealed that he will meet next week the Supreme Council for the Development of Human Resources and the board of directors of the 'Finance and Training Fund' in order to draw up a national strategy for training and to identify priority sectors in the country’s economic and social development plan, and also to distribute roles between the parties concerned with training, whether governmental, private sector or civil society institutions, as well as review the needs already identified through social dialogue conferences held in 2011.
Finally, Azhari assured that there are many untapped resources in Egypt, and that the human element is Egypt’s real and inexhaustible capital. He also stressed the importance of linking training to investment incentives, so as to encourage businessmen and investors to boost youth training and offer more job opportunities to youths.