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					                                   ADDRESS BY
             HON D GOKHOOL, MINISTER OF EDUCATION &
                              HUMAN RESOURCES



                                     JOB FAIR

                                 IVTB TRAINEES


                 THURSDAY 25 OCTOBER 2007 AT 09 00 HRS


                               IVTB GYMNASIUM,

                               EBENE – ROSE HILL




    Distinguished Guests
    Trainees of the IVTB
    Ladies and Gentlemen


Good Morning.


I am pleased to be here with you all today for the launching of the Job Fair which
is being organised by the IVTB for its trainees.


Job fairs are an important part of my Ministry’s effort to help trainees in getting
connected with the world of work and equally represents an opportunity for
employers to locate potential recruits.



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The organization of this job fair is in line with the present government’s vision for
skills development as clearly spelt out in the Government’s Programme for 2005-
2010. As I have continuously been pointing out, we have to benchmark ourselves
with international standards and we should aim at nothing less than a world class
quality education and training and ensure equality of opportunities to all our
citizens.


HR


My Ministry, which is responsible for the development of Human Resources
together with Organizations falling under its aegis is sparing no effort to ensure
that economic progress is not hampered due to the lack of a skilled and competent
work force. We want to develop a creative and competent human resource base
to attract investment and satisfy the human resource needs of industry.


Ladies and Gentlemen, our economy is undergoing an important transition to
become a knowledge-based post industrial economy. There is a mismatch between
the demand and supply of labour. This is one of the main reasons why my
Ministry has been coming up with a number of initiatives.


For instance, we have prepared the National Human Resource Development Plan
which indicates not only the manpower requirements of the country over the
coming 5 years but also the different areas for capacity building.


We are      ensuring that training programmes being conducted by the training
institutions are regularly updated in line with industry requirements.


The Government is investing millions of rupees annually to train school leavers in
TVET and to instill and develop valuable hard skills in our trainees so that they are
employable. We are developing new strategies to optimize employment

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opportunities through the Apprenticeship scheme, which is supported financially
by the HRDC. The apprenticeship schemes in place have received the
collaboration of a large number of employers in different sectors has been
successful in training thousands of trainees in a real work place situation. I
understand that many of the apprentices have been able to find a job within the
enterprises where they were initially posted as an apprentice. I can assure the
employers that my Ministry will keep on encouraging training through the
apprenticeable mode by providing the necessary incentives and support.




Emphasis is equally being laid on other soft skills like work ethics, discipline,
leadership, ICT and the ability to follow instructions and perform under pressure
in order to enhance productivity , quality and competitiveness.




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Job Fair


This job fair is an excellent opportunity to increase employer’s awareness of the
skills IVTB trainees can bring to businesses and to encourage employers to hire
potential graduants, not just out of a sense of patriotism, but equally because it
makes good business sense for employers.


Ladies and Gentlemen, this job fair is intended to
    put IVTB trainees who are ending their training by the end of November
       2007 into direct contact with employers looking for talented people, and
    help employers to cut down cost and time which they would otherwise have
       to spend screening applicants through normal recruitment processes.


The IVTB is one of the lead training organization in Mauritius, which is
committed to the availability of skilled persons. But you, the trainees, are the
lifeblood of the IVTB and beating heart of the body of skilled workforce in
Mauritius. The Government, through our Ministry, strives to ensure that our
trainees receive quality training and latest training facilities at our Training
Centres as well as attractive employment opportunities




The relationship which is being built between the IVTB and the employers
through this job fair augurs well for the future. My Ministry will encourage other
training institutions to do the same so that our trainee population are put into direct
contact with representatives of the world of work.


In fact, the presence of an appreciable number of employers at today’s event
reflects that this relationship is strong. I understand that more than 30 employers
will be available to meet with IVTB trainees today and tomorrow as part of the Job

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Fair. I equally wish that this becomes an annual feature in line with international
practice. And it will be yet another example of a vibrant Public Private sector
partnership together with a concrete expression of an equally vibrant Corporate
Social Responsibility .




Connectivity


Our students and trainees need exposure to techniques and tools that have become
indispensable in the emerging sectors. It is important that there is connectivity
between the school and the world of work from a very early stage.


To reinforce this connectivity, my Ministry together with the HRDC is presently
implementing a short period placement for secondary and pre vocational school
students during the school vacations. The pilot phase which was implemented in
the July/August holidays has generated a very positive feedback and we are
coming up with a large scale placement programme during the November/
December vacations.




The Government Empowerment Programme is equally encouraging employers to
train young unexperienced people who are presently unemployed so that they can
acquire the necessary work experience. The State is not only contributing towards
the cost of training but also towards the monthly stipend being paid to the trainees.


It is one of the measures to encourage employers to recruit unemployed people
especially from deprived communities and disadvantaged regions. Ladies and
gentlemen, it is comforting to note that the rate of unemployment is continuing to



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decrease thanks to the Government effort and I am confident that the country will
soon return to a full employment situation.


Ladies and Gentlemen, it is important to recall that one of the very first actions of
this Government was to waive the fees on all NTC 3 courses so as to provide
maximum access to our children.           Moreover, similar to students of other
educational and training institutions, trainees benefit from free transport facilities
to attend their respective training centres.




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Create or evaporate


In a globally changing environment where competition is becoming the rule of the
day, we are today confronted with a situation where we have to adapt or perish,
create or evaporate.. The Government is playing its role fully in developing the
appropriate environment and resources.


It is important, however, that industry and employers also play their role in
enhancing this initiative. More than ever before, Mauritius needs high performing
companies and this requires a direct interest on the part of employers to invest in
their manpower.


The levy grant scheme being managed by the HRDC and the Standards which are
being set by the MQA are all geared towards encouraging employers to develop an
adaptable and high quality labour force.




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We are today encouraging each enterprise to carry out a Training Needs Analysis
for their employees so as to ensure that the investment that they are making in
training of their employees contributes positively towards an enhancement of
productivity. Our training approach should therefore innovate and together I am
confident that we will be able to assure all enterprises not only an enhanced
productivity but equally a competitive edge which has today become necessary in
a fast changing international economic environment.


Ladies and Gentlemen, the IVTB as a provider has to play a pivotal role in the
development of the human resources in our country and in generating skilled
workers as required by the labour market. More and more innovative technical
and vocational courses in various fields should be provided to respond to the needs
of industry. Full time, part time, training under the apprenticeship mode, refresher
courses and trade tests should be conducted to help in the upskilling and reskilling
of employees, so as to make our workforce more adaptable and productive.


I am happy to note that IVTB centres, cater for youngsters and in-service
employees from different social, cultural and economic backgrounds.            This
practice fits in with the vision of this Government and my Ministry for a World
Class Education which propounds that access to education/training should be
given to all, irrespective of their socio-economic status.


In addition to this there is much more to be done and the present Government is
determined to democratize access to Education and Training. In the same context,
we want every child to become employable and self reliant.


I am equally aware that many employers are presently being affected by the
existing mindset of the 9 to 4 economy and are finding it more and more difficult
to employ workers who can work at flexible and odd hours. I can assure all of you

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that this has been one of my major preoccupations and that the HRDC is very
shortly coming up with a National Sensitisation Campaign which aims at changing
this mindset so that Mauritius moves towards a 24/7 economy.


I want to reassure all stakeholders that we are determined to provide the required
leadership in HRD for national development.


To conclude ladies and gentlemen, may I invite the trainees to take maximum
opportunity of this Job fair which will be held today and tomorrow keeping in
mind that job fairs should be just one part of your entire job search process.


On this note, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your attention and I have the
pleasure to declare the Job Fair OPEN.


Thank you


25th October 2007




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