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Urge to bridge job demand and supply gap

The labour experts urged the government to bridge job demand and supply gap by linking education and vocational training.

Even though education is not a panacea and does not in itself create jobs, having higher level of education or skills base still significantly improves the chance of obtaining stable and satisfactory employment, said coordinator of Work4Youth Project (W4Y) Sara Elder sharing ‘School-to-work transition survey 2013’ report – conducted by International Labour Organisation (ILO) Work4Youth Project – here today.

Presenting the key findings of the survey amid a national workshop, she said, that the highly educated also have less chance of being unemployed and inactive. “But investing in education brings positive returns in terms of wages and access to the better jobs she cautioned,” Elder added.

The survey also revealed that there is a mismatch between the jobs sought by young people and the jobs being created by enterprises. “There is an evident gap in supply and demand for young labour among the higher skilled occupations, which means the more educated youth face long-term unemployment or settling for work for which they are overqualified,” the report added.

The stakeholders, however, called for the urgent need to address the mismatch between demand and supply of the jobs between the young people and the enterprises. “There should be more emphasis on providing the vocational training to youth to overcome mismatch in the labour market,” secretary general at General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) Umesh Upadhyaya said.

According to the survey, very few youth are engaged in the vocational training. “Only seven per cent youth are participating in vocvational training and only five per cent youth are involved in vocational training after completing their education,” the survey concluded.

Director of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Hansa Ram Pandey, on the occasion, called for a coordination between private sector and training providers like educational institutions to bridge demand-supply gap.
The survey – conducted from April 15 to May 15, 2013 covered 3,020 households of 22 districts, including 14 municipalities – has also recommended the government to play the role of a facilitator in shaping the professional career of the youth who are about to enter or are new in the labour market.
“The youth of developing countries like Nepal who have recently completed their school or college require professional grooming, in the transitional phase, from college to labour market,” said programme officer at ILO Nita Neupane.

The report tries to draw attention of the government and stakeholders regarding optimum utilisation of human resources for the development of the country’s economy and to enhance the living standard of the people.

The W4Y that conducted a survey in 28 countries also concluded that Nepali youth face serious deficit in job creation, the number of youth is large and growing fast, investment in education brings positive returns to youth in terms of wages and access to better jobs, clear demarcation is noticed in the youth labour market regarding male/female and rural/urban population, and and most of the youth are engaged in low productivity activities like agriculture, where informal employment is predominant.

Executive director at Centre for Economic Development and Administration Ram Chandra Dhakal, on the occasion, said that youth should be provided with market-oriented education and vocational training. “In the transitional phase, youth are unaware of corporate culture and that it is the responsibility of the government to groom them before pushing them in the labour market,” he added.

Speaking at the workshop, director of ILO country office for Nepal Jose Assalino said the recommendations of the report will be useful for the government while drafting policies related to youth labour force and existing labour market.