Budget 2016-2017: Creating more Job Opportunities for All
Government is determined to address the problem of skills mismatch and that of unemployment with the creation of more job opportunities for youth, women and men in line with the strategy to better prepare the economy for the future while giving it a new light.
The 2016-2017 budget makes provisions for a series of measures geared towards an appropriate matching of skills to ensure that job seekers are able to find employment that meet their aspiration. The challenge is to bring down further the unemployment rate which stands at 7.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016 from 8.7 percent a year earlier while at the same ensuring that some 21,400 youths, men and women are taken out of unemployment.
In a bid to give a new impetus to the employment sector, Government considers training as a prerequisite to address the skill mismatch hence the enlisting of some 4,000 persons under the National Skills Development Programme for training in technical skills that are in high demand. One thousand young people will be trained in the following sectors: ICT, tourism and hospitality; nursing and paramedics and construction and other industries. These trainees will receive a monthly stipend of Rs 5,000. Training will also be offered to 1,200 seafarers for cruise jobs and in shipping companies. As an incentive seafarers will be exempted from the payment of income tax.
Furthermore, provisions have also been made for a special scheme for the placement of 200 trainee engineers in public sector bodies and the enlistment of 2,000 unemployed under the Youth Employment Programme.
To ensure the successful implementation of these endeavours, an umbrella National Employment Agency with wide-ranging responsibilities and powers will be set up. Other measures include reinforcing the legal framework for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training and the setting up of a Skills Development Authority as an independent regulator.
Some 7,200 vacancies and new posts in the Civil service will be filled. Government remains confident that the new policies introduced in the Budget to boost up economic growth and employment would generate some 7,000 new jobs in the short term.