Labour Market Services for Transition Unit(EMPLAB/SERVICES)

Strengthening Public Employment Services in English Speaking Africa

Supported by the Republic of Korea, the Employment Policy Department’s - Employment, Labour Markets and Youth Branch (EMPLAB) - of ILO is implementing the project to support strengthening the PES in English speaking Sub-Saharan Africa through upgrading the job portal system and building the capacities of public officials in Namibia and Malawi. The third component involves carrying out a global study to investigate how the use of technology in PES is helping improve service delivery to clients. This project is implemented in line with the Centenary Declaration and the Future of Work Report, which recommend an increase of investment in PES and to optimise digitalisation.

A.    Background

Public employment services (PES) play a pivotal role in the implementation of employment policies, in ensuring a more efficient matching of the available vacancies and jobseekers, thereby increasing productivity and the capacity for creation of more jobs and in promoting direct creation of jobs through support for self-employment as well as participation in local boards that promote local economic development and employment. In order to perform this role effectively, PES need to have sufficient capacity and resources at its disposal. In developing countries, the effectiveness of PES is constrained by their lack of capacity – weak human resource and institutional capacity, low financial and material resources as well as the presence of a large informal sector. Nevertheless, empirical evidence shows that PES can play a vital role in developing countries where the problem of information asymmetry is likely to be acute, and labour market institutions are weak. There has been, in the past decade or so and especially following the global crisis, a renewed interest by emerging and developing countries for technical support to either revitalise their idle and weak PES or develop new ones.

B.    Objectives

The objectives of the project by each component are as follows:

1. Namibia: Upgrading of an on-line Job Matching System (Jobs Portal);
  • A Master Plan for the upgrading of the Namibia matching system is developed;
  • Software and Hardware for the Namibia matching system is built according to plan;
  • Knowledge transferred, local capacity built and the matching system is operationalised;
2. Malawi: Support towards strengthening public employment services (PES);
  • Government and stakeholders in Malawi have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for strengthening PES for improved labour force utilisation;
  • PES managers and staff in Malawi have enhanced capacity,  knowledge and awareness on the role of employment services and ALMPs,
3. Global: Comparative Study of digitalisation and Online Jobs Portals
  • A study and working paper on digitalisation and online job portals developed and published.

C. Achievements

  • In Namibia, the implementing agency, KOREATEC, has undertaken the preparatory activities in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation (MLIREC) of Namibia with regards to the upgrading of the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS). The preparatory activities and milestones include (a) a situation analysis of the NIEIS; (b) establishment of the master plan for software (S/W) and hardware (H/W) development; and (c) a study tour to the Republic of Korea for officials of the Directorate of Labour Market  Services in the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation of Namibia(MLIREC) in June 2019. Software development is at an advanced stage, and the first testing has been undertaken.
  • In Malawi, a PES assessment mission was undertaken and recommendations were made for possible improvement. Two officials participated in the two-week Employment Academy Program held in ILO Turin Center in May 2019.
  • Regarding the global component, an online survey on PES digitalisation and job portals has been launched to investigate how the use of technology is helping improve service delivery to clients. Due to Covid-19 crisis, the project is likely to be extended to June 2021, to ensure that all the planned objectives and outcomes are delivered.

Find more about the Republic of Korea - ILO Cooperation here