Joblessness growingJob training fund needs to do better [Archives:2004/706/Business & Economy]

January 26 2004

The number of people seeking jobs in Yemen continues to grow despite the official efforts exerted for providing opportunities for the unemployed and the strategic plan on fighting poverty.
When people check the kind of workers for carrying out a technical or professional work, they discover the extent of bad professional services and skills in the market.
A practically-educated workforce offers itself the required experience, testing it and providing work opportunities. One gets surprised that those people are practicing professions that would not live to the wanted level and are not worth the wages they want to gain.
The question is where the failure is, in the society or the market, or the education system or in the absence of skills and standards of technical work? The questions seem to be many but the main question is what kind of relations must be prevalent between the employer and the workers?
We went to a used-goods market at the Hasaba area in the capital secretariat and asked a worker there if he was good at plumbery of water system and drainage, and immediately he had offered us his experience. Along with him came ten other workers wishing to carry out the job.
But all of them appeared to have not used plumbery tools, and they usually practice cheating in free professions.
Asking whether he has heard or known about the Professional and Technical Training Fund, he angrily answered in denial and queried about the fund and whether it is a school of an institute.
No doubt the fund does have a big role in developing skills of the labour market and in human development for dealing with the latest means of production. The fund also plays an important role in improving production and quality.
The ministry of education and technical training has in this regard founded the fund in cooperation with the International development organisation and a German consultative team, and also engagement of employers from various sectors for funding training and technical qualification.
In 1955, the fund was founded and a law on its establishment was passed in 1997 and employers became contributors in its founding with the aim of supporting the state efforts designed for keeping pace with the development realized in means of production.
The law made the employer obliged to send 15% of his workforce in the fund's training program, and training should be repeated every year in order to the attain the following goals:
– improvement of production to compete with foreign goods in the market,
– reduction of loses rate of raw material,
– reducing rates of workers incidents,
– not to resort to employing non-Yemeni labour, and,
– reaching the goal with least effort and cost.
During the years 2001-2002 the fund had implemented about 131 training programs for training around 2,445 persons costing more than YR 48 million. Up to the year 2002, the number of companies contributing to the fund was 686 installations.
The problem however lies in the training programs that are specialized for labour in installations participating in supporting the fund. Labour in the market would remain far from training and qualification and to suffer from ignorance in knowledge and required skills for developing production.