The last day of the National Development Forum, that was held at the Holiday Inn Port Moresby, saw stakeholders from both the government and private sector discuss issues of employment. With the theme; ‘Creating employment opportunities through suitable policies, strategies and partnership’.
The forum highlighted issues relating to employment or unemployment as unemployment is a problem. Mary Morola Secretary, Department of Labour and Industrial relations pointed out that the proposed National Employment Policy has the intention for an all-inclusiveness and cross cutting policy. The policy will be addressing the UN 2030 Sustainable Goals, Goal 8 on Decent Work and productive employment for sustainable growth. The new policy will have more focus on the formal sector. Also more consideration will be put into emerging Micro Small to Medium sector (MSME) and the informal sector. Morola also mentioned that there are limitations and challenges that are being faced with this new policy. One of the challenges that was highlighted was that there is limited employment base to create employment opportunities; there is a need to broaden to cover other areas. This leads to another challenge which was clear all throughout the session; this was the mismatch of supply and demand. Jobs are scarce and every year the number of school leavers increases causing most of them to become unemployment statistics.
In order to address these challenges, partnerships need to be formed between relevant stake holders and development partners must collaborate and drive policy consultations to achieve the desired outcomes.
Dr Carmen Voigt-Graf, mentioned in her presentation that the Government has had meetings with the relevant stakeholders and they have come up with priority areas, and they aim to get a wider feedback from a wider audience. And this Development forum gave them the opportunity to do so.