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Friday, 28 June 2013 14:39

Minister for Labour and Human resource development at the 102nd session of the International labour conference

A tripartite delegation from Seychelles headed by the Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development, Ms Idith Alexander is presently attending the 102nd session of the International Labour Conference, being held in Geneva, Switzerland from 5th to 20th June 2013.

 

 

The ILO Conference is this year discussing the effects of global challenges on the world of work, notably the new demographic context and sustainable development. The Conference is also discussing the importance for the tripartite constituents, being the Government, employers and workers organizations to be continuously engaged in creating decent work, thereby overcoming the emerging challenges and supporting the ILO centenary initiatives.

 

In her address to the Conference on 12th June 2013, Minister Alexander called on all stakeholders to join together for decent work. The Minister placed emphasis on the impact of demographic trends and climate change on employment and the labour market, which have been recognized as a global challenge. (See extract of the Minister’s speech below).

 

 

Minister Alexander also paid a courtesy call on the new Director General of the ILO, Mr Guy Ryder to express her appreciation of the ILO’s support to the Seychelles, notably in the implementation of the Seychelles decent work country programme. It was noted that the priorities and interests of the Ministry relate with those of the ILO. The issues of youth employment, migrant workers, the blue economy and green economy were also discussed. The Director General stated that the progress and achievements of Seychelles ‘are very encouraging in terms of cooperation between the Seychelles and the ILO.’

 

The Minister also seized this moment to request technical assistance in respect of labour market statistics and information system, given the importance of quality statistics to guide her Ministry in decision making and policy intervention. Minister Alexander also met with the new ILO Deputy Director General for Fields Operations and Partnerships, Mr Gilbert Foussoun Houngbo.

 

 

The other members of the Seychelles delegation attending the ILO Conference are Ms Veronique Bresson, Principal Secretary for Labour and Human Resource Development, Ms Susan Morel, Director Policy Planning and Research, Mr Antoine Robinson representing the Seychelles Federation of Workers’ Union and Mrs Michelle Labrosse representing the Association of Seychelles Employers.

 

Below are the extracts of the Minister’s speech:

  • Minister Alexander reiterated Seychelles commitment “to invest in its people and in ensuring quality working life and equal opportunities for all.”

  • In doing so, the Minister recognizes that “the effects of globalization, notably the recent world crisis have been a wake-up call on the vulnerability of the employment sector against financial and environmental shocks.”

 

  • The Minister acknowledged that the items on this year’s Conference agenda, notably the demographic trends and climate change, “represent a challenge for the labour market across the world, including the Seychelles.” She stated that national records indicate that the population of Seychelles is slowly ageing and this will have an impact on the labour supply and demands. She emphasized on the strong advocacy of the Government of Seychelles “for sustainable development to guarantee the future existence of our nation, which is being threatened by the impact of climate change.” She added that “whilst these are challenging tasks, the Government remains determined in protecting workers, our environment, our economy and our future, based on the foundations of decent work.”

 

  • Furthermore, the Minister expressed its appreciation to the Director General of the ILO, Mr Guy Ryder, for his support to the Seychelles towards the implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme, signed with the ILO in November 2011. The Minister reaffirmed that “the ongoing review of our National Employment Policy [under the Programme] is focused on linking capacity building with the demands of the labour market and is opportune for us to agree on strategic responses to act and react to the needs of labour and businesses, whilst supporting the ILO’s efforts in achieving its centenary initiatives.”

 

  • Minister Alexander was “delighted to notethat the [ILO] centenary initiatives reflect the plan of my Ministry and new approaches undertaken in the past year.” Namely, “we have decentralized employment services to move closer to jobseekers, with the view to facilitate their access to employment or enrolment on employment training schemes. We have also recently established a Forum comprising of key Human Resources stakeholders, to enhance public-private sector partnership, thus enabling joint collaboration in national human resource development.”

 

  • To that effect, the Minister stated that employment and decent work is a concern for all economic sectors and stakeholders – “each and everyone of us needs to leave its landmark in fostering decent work.”

 

  • She urged all stakeholders and partners to be “ready to take on the opportunities that are presented to us” amidst these challenging times. “The opportunity to innovate our methods of work, so that they promptly adapt to the changing needs of the labour market; the opportunity to analyze the developments of other economic sectors, so that employment is mainstreamed in sectoral objectives; the opportunity for us, constituents to collaborate on common grounds, so that our strategies converge and decent work is further permeated in the lives of our fellow citizens.”

 

  • In concluding, the Minister called on tripartite constituents and stakeholders to “join together for decent work, in order to secure a stronghold in our policy objectives and future achievements.”

 

 

 

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