Labour minister inaugurates new Employment Services Board
The Third Employment Services Board was inaugurated this week by Hon Utoni Nujoma, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation. Board members will hold this position for a period of three years, effective from 1 October until 30 September and they are empowered to monitor and analyse the labour market development and advise the Minister on legislation pertaining to the provision of employment services.
The board consists of Adrew Ndishishi as Chairperson, David Iigonga, Lavinia Karises and Eite Shiponeni, representing the state, Loide Shaanika and Mahongora Kavihuha, representing the trade unions, Johannes Kangandjera and Dantago Garosas, representing employers, Jessica Gawachab, representing persons with disabilities, Romana Hidileko, representing the National Youth Council, Dr Michael Akuupa and Bernhard Tjatjara, experts in labour and employment, Nkrumah Mushelenga, expert in immigration, and Matheus Shimpopileni, expert in education.
Nujoma urged the Board to facilitate the redeployment of workers who lost jobs through COVID-19 and to find workable solutions to the economic problem that is faced. “The rate of unemployment in the country is alarming and the Labour Force Survey of 2018 stated that the unemployment rate stood at 33.4% of which 265,770 were youth,” he said.
Nujoma further stipulated that since the Board is an organ of state, they have to adhere to performance targets. “Your attention is drawn to a plan of action with clear outputs and achievable targets that need to be crafted and realised over the tenure of your office,” he said.
In his first discussion with the new board, the minister advised them on the issuing of work permits, as well as reducing the threshold for employers reporting vacancies, from 25 to 10 employees. “These activities should receive priority on your agenda and the reduction in the threshold will help capture the informal economy operators and will result in the increase of employees registered on the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS), which will lead to an increase in the notifications of vacancies, as well as an increase in the placement of job-seekers,” added Nujoma.
The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Hon Utoni Nujoma (seated cente right) this week had his first meeting with the new Employment Services Board.