First virtual familiarization meeting with the International Labour Organization (ILO)
The Minister for Employment and Social Affairs Mrs. Patricia Francourt had her first meeting done virtually with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office Director for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles, Dr Coffi Agossou on Monday 09th February 2021.
Other participants of the meeting were Ms. Clara Ramaromanana Programme Officer for Seychelles and Ms. Michelle Randriamaharo Senior Secretary of the office and for Seychelles the Principal Secretary Mr. Jules Baker, Special Advisor Ms. Veronique Bresson, Chief Policy Analyst Ms. Susan Morel and Senior Cooperation Officer Ms. Juliette Vidot.
The aim of the meeting was for the Minister to familiarize herself with the team members of the ILO Country Office that covers Seychelles and to have a global overview of the collaboration between the Ministry and ILO.
Minister Francourt expressed her gratitude of meeting the ILO Country Office team. After giving a brief explanation of the Ministry’s new portfolio mainly the important link between employment and the social aspect of a society as a whole, the Minister also talked about ongoing strategic actions in place in order to mitigate the effects of the very challenging times being felt currently all across the globe. The Minister explained the pandemic situation in the Seychelles that have resulted in a series of restrictions imposed causing the economy to be seriously affected, in particular the Tourism industry that have been most severely impacted and causing an unprecedented economic downturn for Seychelles. The Minister said that she is hopeful that things will turn around soon as Seychelles is already well underway with its vaccination campaign, being the first country in Africa to have rolled it out last month. She expressed her wish for ILO’s continued support and assistance under the umbrella of the Decent Work Country Programme, in particular on the aspect of back to work strategies for drug users on the methadone programme. Another crucial area for the economy is ensuring the youths remain in schools to acquire relevant skills and teenage mothers to choose returning to school to continue their education. She explained “in the immediate the strategy is to focus on empowerment of jobseekers and swift placement into jobs.” The Minister took the opportunity of the meeting to convey her appreciation for the generous grant extended to Seychelles in year 2020 for the skills development programme that has already made a difference in the lives of 250 young persons out of employment, making them more marketable to secure a job at this difficult time in areas that are currently in demand.
Dr. Agossou congratulated Minister Francourt in her new role and wished her success in her position as Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, a portfolio where he mentioned that the Minister can continue to enforce and strengthen on social dialogue between employers and workers to bring about increased productivity. He particularly talked about the people centred- approach of the ILO to address global trends where income and hours of work have reduced following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. The ILO proposed for a Tripartite Forum between Government and social partners to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market. Dr Agossou commended Seychelles for its good stability and investment in health and social during these times. Dr. Coffi confirmed continued assistance of ILO with Seychelles, “ILO has always been a good partner to Seychelles.”