Functional Self-Assessment for Public Works Fund Launched in Uzbekistan

Designed by ILO specialists, the PWF functional self-assessment methodology was introduced amid COVID-19 pandemic to the management and specialists of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations at a webinar on May 26, 2020.

News | 26 May 2020
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (ILO News) – The webinar was attended by Erkin Mukhitdinov, First Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Temur Mahmudov, Head of Employment Department, Salokhiddin Samadov, Director of the Public Works Fund under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Shuhratjon Pulatov, Department of Formation and Monitoring of Employment Programmes and a representative group of ILO specialists.

Fostering decent employment opportunities is one of the most important priorities for Uzbekistan. Over the years, Uzbekistan has experienced high demographic pressures on the labour market, and the country needs to implement significant structural reforms. All endeavours in the sphere of labour market development in Uzbekistan implemented with the ILO support are closely interlinked, namely, development of a national employment strategy, improvement of the national labour legislation and application of international labour standards and strengthening labour market institutions.

During the webinar, Erkin Mukhitdinov noted that it is important to link the National Employment Strategy with the public works, in order to address the imbalance between the number of jobs created and existing labour resources. The Government plans to create 300 thousand jobs, while annually 700 thousand graduates of educational institutions join the labour force, thus creating a huge pressure on the labour market.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 400 thousand enterprises temporarily ceased operations or reduced their workload,” said Erkin Mukhitdinov. “Nearly 150 thousand workers have already lost their jobs, about 498 thousand migrant workers have returned home without a source of income. Under these conditions, the effective functioning of the Public Works Fund is of utmost importance.”

To date, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has become the largest job creator in the country, facilitating jobs for more than 231 thousand unemployed through its Public Works Fund.

At the same time, Erkin Mukhitdinov listed some problems in organizing public works, primarily related to the lack of staff, weak coordination and inefficient monitoring system. A comprehensive diagnosis of the entire system is needed.

 “This request complements very well with the ILO ongoing initiative on the development of a national employment strategy. PWF plays a critical role in implementing national employment strategy and can ensure greater coherence between employment, social and economic policies,” said  Ramiro Pizarro, ILO Moscow official.

Maikel R. Lieuw-Kie-Song, ILO Headquarters official, presented the methodology and approach which will be used for institutional assessment of the Uzbek PWF, as well as key stages of the assessment and expected results.

The ongoing work is supported by the ILO Project “Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Commonwealth of Independent States” implemented by the ILO Moscow in partnership with the Russian company LUKOIL.