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The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma, has outlined the vital issues within the Namibian labour market that need to be addressed, such as youth unemployment.

Speaking at the Fourth Employment Services Board, Nujoma touched on the crucial role of shaping policies and strategies to promote employment creation and ensure compliance with labour laws.

"Your appointment comes at a time when the country is experiencing daunting labour market challenges, among them being youth unemployment, which stands at 46%, as per the available official statistics for 2018. At the current moment, about 200,000 job seekers are registered with Namibia Integrated Employment Information, of whom the majority are finding it difficult to be absorbed in the Namibian labour market due to the limited number of job opportunities available. And where there are job opportunities, the majority of these job seekers do not have the minimum skills and experience required by employers."

The minister stressed the importance of adhering to international labour standards.

Utoni also emphasised the need for strategic leadership, urging the board to devise a realistic plan of action to achieve their targets over the next three years.

The board is, among others, mandated to investigate and advise the minister on the provisions of employment services, monitor and analyse labour market developments, pass legislation pertaining to the provisions of employment services, and regulate private employment agencies.

In addition, the Deputy Minister of Labour, Hafeni Ndemula, is committed to connecting job seekers with fulfilling career pathways and supporting employers in finding the talent they need.

"At the heart of our mandate lies the unwavering dedication to connect job seekers with fulfilling career pathways and to assist employers in finding the talent they need to thrive."

The ministry offers a range of services, including job placement, skills development, labour market information, and productivity promotion.

The Chairperson of the Employment Services Board, Klaus Schade, added that the board is ready to embark on its mission to create a brighter future for Namibia's workforce.

"Job creations and prosperity for all are two of our main development objectives; these are interrelated. We cannot create jobs if there is no power that can support our domestic industries and businesses. On the other hand, we can't fight poverty without creating jobs."
  
The appointment is effective from the 1st of this month to the 31st of March 2027.

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Maria Kaalushu