> Tell us about the purpose of the Youth Employment Program?
Roland Dubois: There are 30,000 young people between 16 and 30 years who are unemployed in Mauritius. The global trend towards it more difficult for a young person to find a job. In Mauritius, there are about 8,500 graduates who are unemployed including 1,400 who remain for more than a year. Very aware of this problem, the government has come forward with the Youth Employment Program.
This program will help young people to gain experience by working one year in business. The training does not stop at the exit of a training school. It continues in the company where the young must learn discipline, teamwork, respect etc.. Through this training, they will gain work experience that will enable them to find a job afterwards.
> How to identify these 5,000 young?
Chanda Ghoora: We have identified several areas in the Skill Working Group, including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation, hospitality, restaurant, real estate, education, administration, health, social, entertainment, and recreation, among others. Young people can make an application for registration on-line or contact us directly www.yep.mu for a registration form.
Roland Dubois: These young people can also go to the Citizens Advice Bureau across the country, where they have access to computers. We also have a Facebook page known as the Youth Employment Program Mauritius.
> How HRDC intervene at the level of funding for this program?
Raj Ragaven: Regarding funding, employers will hire the young people concerned. They are classified into two categories, graduates and non-graduates. Regarding the former, the HRDC will take over 50% of the allocation of up to Rs 7500 per month.
> Pay who?
Raj Ragaven: Employers ...
> Is there a set salary ...
Roland Dubois: I would like to clarify that this is not a salary but an allowance will be given to students and we will reimburse up to 50%. That is to say that if an employer offers a graduate an allowance of Rs 15,000 we will contribute up to Rs 7500. Of course, it can give more, but we will not exceed the sum of Rs 7500. There is another scheme for non-graduates, the maximum refund will be Rs 4000, through HRDC.
Ragaven Raj: I would also like to emphasize that the training must be approved by the Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA). Skill level Working Group, there will be a special unit for these applications. There will also be monitored to ensure that the approval is made in the shortest possible time. Moreover, the MQA said that everything will be done within a week.
> What is your reading program?
Rashid Imrith: This program is designed primarily to assist young people aged 16 to 30 who are unemployed to help them find a job afterwards. At the union, we support any initiative to help our citizens find employment. I would also say that when it comes to public money, then it is Rs 330 million, we insist that there is more transparency. We can not move forward with projects that will attract criticism. We would also like to know what criteria it was based to decide which areas should be training. Is the Ministry of Finance or the Committee has the authority to issue what are the areas where there is a lack of manpower?
We should also remember that there was a Department of Economic Planning Division within the Ministry of Finance, whose role was to deal with future plans but that has closed six years ago. Vice-President of the Republic, Monique Ohsan-Bellepeau, announced in the keynote, the establishment of a commission schedule to deal with this issue, but we are still waiting. Placement is not a new project, because any time is the practice in the private sector. I want to emphasize that there is also a system of disguised employment in the public service, but unfortunately there exploits people.
For example, right now, there is a problem with the Department of Social Security where you will register people for assistance for children who go to school, but unfortunately there is not enough manpower to do the job. Then the government decided to hire young people "on investment" to make this work. Our concern is that these youth are working as employees in full but after 12 months, they will start to be replaced by other young people. Is that by doing so the government does not encourage the private sector to boss people take "on investment" instead of hiring them on a permanent basis?
Roland Dubois: In any project, there are risks. We put safeguards in place to mitigate those risks. We will impose conditions to employers who want to be part of this program. For example, young people must be unemployed.They should not be former employees of the company. They must be registered on our database. If an employer has made a minimum of ten trainees must keep 50% at the end of the training. It is also good to know that there will be a Monitoring Evaluation will be made by an independent organization. She has free access to the business.Finally, employers must also submit a report every six months on the youth in question ...