The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Employment Scheme, a 2018/2019 budgetary measure which targeted graduates, and SMEs not exceeding a turnover of Rs 50 million annually, is now being extended to diploma holders and SMEs not exceeding a net annual income of Rs 100 million.
The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, made this statement, yesterday, during a press conference in Port-Louis. He indicated that Budget 2019-2020 has brought some changes to the 2018-2019 budgetary measure, in line with Government's strategy to create job opportunities for young graduates and support the development of SMEs while providing a conducive environment for the sustainable development of the sector. From now on, he said, SMEs will be able to employ both graduates and diploma holders adding that SMEs which have already benefitted from the service of a graduate can apply for the service of a diploma holder as well.
The Scheme, he said, seeks to instill and develop entrepreneurial skills among graduates, and provide SMEs with an injection of fresh talents. It will also enable unemployed graduates to expand their skills and competencies in a real world situation as well as address the issue of unemployment. At the same time, the support and contribution of a degree or diploma holder or both, to SMEs, will certainly improve their performances and productivity, he added.
Minister Bholah called on graduates to come forward and benefit from the SME Employment Scheme so as to give proof of their skills and competencies and urged SMEs to harness the potentials of these youngsters, thus improving their business performances.
SME Employment Scheme
The Scheme has as objectives to provide skills to SMEs; boost the employability of young graduates; trigger a culture of entrepreneurship in the youth; and support SMEs financially to retain services of a graduate. Employment under the Scheme covers a period of one year which can be renewed after the first year upon satisfactory completion.
A monthly stipend of Rs 14 000 and Rs 10 000 based on attendance will be provided to each graduate and diploma holder respectively while the employer will pay the monthly travelling costs. The registrations for diploma holders and SMEs not exceeding annual turnover of Rs 100 million under the SME Employment Scheme will be opened shortly.
Presently, 1 512 graduates and 721 SMEs have shown their intent of benefitting from the Scheme and 577 graduates have been placed in both Mauritius and Rodrigues.