State working on ending casual jobs

MINISTER of Finance Alexander Chikwanda says Government is working towards ending casualisation by creating long-term permanent jobs for citizens.
Mr Chikwanda said Government is planning to create and offer Zambians decent long-term jobs rather than leave them doing casual jobs.
The minister said this in Lusaka yesterday when he officially opened the 2014 Poverty Reduction Equity and Growth Network (PEGNet) conference.
The theme of the conference is: ‘Employment Strategies in The Developing World: How to Create Sufficient, Productive and Decent Jobs’.
Mr Chikwanda said Government is working hard to find ways to implement sustainable measures for creating sufficient, productive and decent jobs for citizens.
“The importance attached to the fight against poverty was signified by the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000.
“Zambia, the rest of Sub-Saharan African countries and other developing countries have since made progress on meeting some of the set goals. However, failure to address unemployment issues and creat decent and productive jobs has significantly remained a daunting task for all of us,” Mr Chikwanda said.
He said Government has placed job creation on top of its agenda because the high unemployment rate could spoil Zambia’s chances of attaining the MDGs by 2015.
He said in this regard, Government is undertaking various programmes that will create more job opportunities for citizens.
“We have instituted measures for industrialisation and job creation aimed at improving the living standards of our people. Our target in the strategy is to create at least 200,000 decent jobs per year.
“As an important step towards achieving this ambitious goal, Government has re-aligned the National Development Plan to conform to the agenda of promoting job creation,” Mr Chikwanda said.
He  also said Government has initiated youth programmes aimed at improving skills and increasing resources available to the youth to help reduce the high unemployment levels in the country.
Mr Chikwanda said Government is promoting Zambia as an investment destination by creating an enabling investment environment.
He challenged participants to complement various Government efforts towards implementation of sound economic and social policies that will ensure business and industries flourish and begin to create opportunities for job creation.
Earlier, PEGNet director Manfred Wiebelt pledged his organisation’s technical assistance to Government’s programme aimed at creating more decent jobs.
And Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research executive director Pamela Kabaso expressed concern about high unemployment levels in the country.
Dr Kabaso called for remedial measures that will help create decent jobs.

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