Bid to reduce youth, women unemployment

Youths listening attentively during their first breakout workshops at the 2015 National Youth and Sports Conference held at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

FIJI is currently facing a high unemployment rate of 18 per cent for youths and a general unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent, says Employment Minister Jone Usamate.

However, Mr Usamate says this is the lowest unemployment rate Fiji had experienced in the past 15 years.

“This has been a result of strong economic management and consistent policies along with targeted investment in infrastructure and service delivery, resulting in eight years of consecutive economic growth,” he said.

Mr Usamate highlighted this while launching Fiji’s first ever National Employment Policy at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

“Our longer vision under our National Development Plan is to achieve less than 4 per cent unemployment within our five and 20 year plans,” he said.

“Government’s vision is to transform Fiji into a modern and dynamic economy, involving all in our national development, and leaving no one behind.”

Mr Usamate said the National Employment Policy is based on the notion of “Moving Fiji Forward” and recognised that economic growth alone was not enough to meet the challenge of increasing employment opportunities.

“We also need to ensure that economic growth creates paid work for those who want to earn an income,” he said.

“It involves helping those in work to move to better jobs and to improve the working conditions of existing jobholders.”

The policy’s primary objective is to address youth and women unemployment, while improving the growth and quality of employment in Fiji.