High demand for workers in Seychelles' labour market, latest statistics show
Among the 17,061 posts for foreign workers in 2021, mostly were in construction. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
Seychelles' labour market for 2022 shows a high demand despite the persisting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing uncertainty of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, said a top employment official.
Susan Morel, the chief policy analyst in the Department of Employment, made the statement when presenting the labour market statistics report of 2021 to media houses on Thursday.
Morel said the re-opening of Seychelles' borders to relaunch the economy in March and the opening of new tourism establishments have created more job opportunities.
For the year 2021, the department registered a total of 2,477 Seychellois job seekers, among which 1,399 are female. Out of the total, 1,837 have been placed in employment.
The principal secretary for employment, Jules Baker, said that to ensure that jobseekers are matched to a job as early and quickly as possible, a fast-track system has been set up.
"Launched in December, the Labour Market Information System is the first module for employment matching between jobseekers and employers. This is fully operational and as soon as a person registers to look for a job, the person's profile is sent to potential employers," said Baker.
Meanwhile, a technical team has been set up to work with students who drop out of school or do not finish secondary or post-secondary schooling.
"We meet them and look at what kind of programmes are more suitable for them. We are also discussing with the Ministry of Education to create short courses for those who do not want to attend long term courses," said Baker.
As for foreign workers, in 2021, there was a demand for 17,061 posts amounting to an increase of 60 percent to the 2020 figures. The total of posts for expatriate workers in 2020 was 10,591.
The demand was mostly in construction (7440), accommodation and food service activities (3371), wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles/motorcycles (1485) and manufacturing (1022).
This is a concern for the employment ministry as students - many who are graduating - are not necessarily skilled in the sectors where there are more vacancies available.
Baker said that to address this a project to review the national manpower planning has started.
"The project is aimed towards getting the desired skills in future to fill in the most wanted applications. It is important now that we relook at certain functions. The project involves the ministries of national planning, employment, education and other local partners. Once the government approves the project we can give more information on how it will work," he explained.
Another project in the making concerns flexible hours.
"We have presented a project with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) seeking assistance for us to research on how to adapt Seychelles with a work programme based on rotation and flexible hours so that all workers can work in an acceptable environment but that businesses can still operate," said Baker.