National Human Resources and Employment Policy launched


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Although the overall unemployment rate had gone down to 4.2 percent in 2011 the incidence of unemployment among the educated young men and women remain significantly high, Human Resources Senior Minister D.E.W Gunasekera said yesterday.

Addressing a media briefing held at the Government Information Department to introduce the National Human Resources and Employment Policy for Sri Lanka (NHREP), he said that that there were very important manpower and employment challenges faced by the country at present.

Minister Gunasekera also said "Our policy and planning framework on human capital should be responsive to the present demand in the global market,"

He also said that the population above 60 years at present was about 12.5 percent and was increasing, while low labour productivity, high incidence of youth unemployment, which was about 21 percent, mismatch between the demand for and the supply of labour, under employment and poverty, which was about 28 percent were some of the challenges faced by the country.

Gunasekera stressed that about 63 percent of employment opportunities created was in the informal sectors.

According to the Minister, high level of employment rigidity, lack of an entrepreneurial culture among the people, aspiration for white collar jobs among youth, creating job opportunities for the disabled persons who are about 17 percent of the population, and to the ex-combatants and to the young people living in newly cleared areas in the north and the east, migration of about 250,000 low skilled workers annually for foreign employment who earn low wages and face abuse and exploitation were some of the challenges faced by Sri Lanka today.

"In this changing economic scenario we need to nurture a workforce with right skills, capabilities, quality and mindset to fill the gaps and meet the demand in local and foreign labour markets", Minister Gunasekara said.

As a comprehensive Human Resources Policy and a Master Plan had never been introduced in Sri Lanka, action had been taken to formulate such a policy and a master plan with a view to invest in our human resource, he added.

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