Eswatini commits to addressing gaps in its Labour Market and Skills Anticipation systems


News | 15 October 2020
If properly harnessed, Africa's rapidly growing young working age population has the potential to support increased productivity, stronger, and more inclusive economic growth across the continent.

A shortage of skilled workers and at the same time high unemployment, even among college graduates is however a very common phenomenon in most African countries. This signals that there is a challenge in the availability of labour market information to support more effective matching of labour demand and supply.

Against this background, with the view to support strengthening of Eswatini’s labour market information and skills anticipation systems, the International Labour Organization (ILO) through its SIFA-Skills Anticipation Project Component, commissioned a study in Eswatini to map existing data systems practices, capacities and related institutional arrangements.

Stakeholders validated the findings of the mapping exercise on 7 October 2020, at the workshop organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security , held at the Hilton Hotel in Mbabane. The report validation workshop was also an opportunity to introduce the Skills Initiative for Africa Project (SIFA), a Programme of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), supported by the German Government and European Union, and implemented by GIZ, and ILO among other partners.

The ILO Chief Technical Adviser, Naomy Lintini informed participants to the validation workshop that the ILO supported Skills Anticipation Project Component seeks to enhance capacities of member states to establish effective systems for minimizing the supply-demand mismatch in the labour market. She added that the ultimate objective of the study was therefore to help identify potential weaknesses in the system and to provide concrete recommendations for improvement of existing structures and practices.

Mr. Mkhaliphi, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security said the ILO Supported SIFA Project could not have come at a better time to support the much-needed platform for addressing some of the challenges that Eswatini has been facing in setting up and sustaining operations for more effective labour market information management.

Speaking at the same workshop, Ms. Prudunce Ngwenya, the Head of Youth Division and Acting Head of Education Division at the African Union Commission noted that the mapping of the labour market information and skills anticipation systems in Ewatini was in line with the SIFA programme objective of improving occupational prospects of young Africans through promoting employment-oriented skills development interventions.

Key findings from the mapping exercise included that the skills identified in the Country’s development strategies were not based on anticipated investments in the economy and that there was no systematic analysis of labour demand and supply projections to inform more responsive skills development. The mapping study also established the need for Eswatini to strengthen its skills dialogue and TVET coordination mechanisms.

In closing, Principal Secretary Mukhalipi, indicated that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security took full ownership of the report and its recommendations. He called for quick action and tripartite plus dialogue forums at which strategies to address the identified gaps could be agreed and collectively owned. He appealed to the ILO and the SIFA Programme to support the Country as it works to resolve the identified weaknesses and challenges.
Project: ILO – SIFA Skills Anticipation