23 November 2012

Zambia: Job Seekers' Catalogue On Cards

GOVERNMENT will next year introduce public employment exchange services in all the provinces to place job seekers with prospective employers.

Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda said the programme would provide career counselling and guidance services and collection of labour statistics on labour demand and supply.

Mr Shamenda was speaking in Parliament on Wednesday evening when he presented a ministerial policy statement for his ministry whose 2013 national Budget allocation of K36.8 billion was approved.

"Furthermore, the ministry will implement the 2012 to 2015 decent work programme. This will be linked to the national strategy on industralisation and job creation adopted by Government to ensure the promotion of decent work," he said.

He told the House that the ministry had finalised data collection for the 2012 labour force survey and expected preliminary results by March next year.

The minister said the programme was significant as it had strong labour market information that would be able to assess how many jobs the Government would be creating on an annual basis sector by sector.

He said casualisation was rife due to factors such as the prevailing high unemployment and under-employment levels that made job seekers susceptible to abuse by some employers.

Mr Shamenda however said once the law relating to engagement of casual labour was strengthened, it would greatly contribute to arresting the vice.

"In order to strengthen law enforcement capacity, the ministry has also procured eight motor vehicles which will be used for labour inspections," he said.

On the 2013 ministerial budget, he said his ministry would focus on improving capacity in rehabilitation of infrastructure and building new offices.

Earlier, the MPs approved the 2013 Budget allocation to the Ministry of Justice amounting to K295.1 billion.

And Deputy Chairperson of parliamentary committees Chifumu Banda directed Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Emmanuel Chenda to issue a ministerial statement by today on Government's position over payments of farmers by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

This was in his ruling to a point of order raised by MMD Mpongwe MP Gabriel Namulambe who wanted to know whether it was in order for Mr Chenda to keep quiet when FRA had not paid several farmers in some parts of the country.

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