Jobs Strategy

Promoting Transformation and Job Creation in the Maldives

Over recent decades, the Maldives has made impressive progress in raising income levels and human development outcomes. The Maldives sustained an average growth rate of 8.0 per cent from 2002 to 2011. As a result, the Maldives has become an upper-middle income status, the first country in South Asia to do so.

The bigger challenge is the performance of the labour market. The Maldives is a young country with youth aged less than 30 accounting for almost 65 per of the population (Census 2006, to be updated with Census 2014). As a result of demand and supply-side factors, many young Maldivians end up unemployed and discouraged. In 2009/10, the youth unemployment rate reached 35.3 and 21.6 per cent for those aged 15 to 19 and 20 to 24, respectively. These figures increase further if unemployed youth who have given up job search are included.

The Maldives is, therefore, experiencing high rates of unemployment amongst young people though many jobs are filled by expatriate workers. This imbalance needs to be corrected if the situation in the labour market is to improve. Key issues to address include improving education and skills, while overcoming other structural barriers to taking up employment.

In light of these challenge, the Government of the Maldives recognizes the importance of creating more and better jobs, especially for the youth of the country. The President outlined his vision for creating 94,000 jobs over five years, of which 54,000 jobs will be created through investments and new Government programmes along with policy and legislative changes.

In order to meet this goal, this Jobs Strategy will bring greater coherence in the delivery of Government programmes and services to provide the enabling environment for investment and job creation, while enhancing the employability of its citizens, especially our youth. This is a crucial policy for the Government and will form a major component in the Maldives National Development Strategy.