More than 4,000 unemployed youths have been provided with training or placement in various sectors of the economy through the Youth Employment Programme (YEP) since it started in January 2013.

Mauritius Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval made this announcement at the launch of the YEP Report in Port-Louis. The YEP was launched last year with a provision of Rs 330 million and this year, Rs 300 million have been allocated to the programme.

The 4,000-odd unemployed youth consist of 54.20% males and 45.80% females. Sector-wise, it is Information and Communication Technology (ICT), including BPO, which has recruited the highest number of youth.

YEP was launched in 2013 with the aim of facilitating youth aged between 16 and 30 years to switch from education to employment, as well as to provide them with the core skills required by different sectors of the economy.

According to the Finance Minister, the island economy is affected by the global phenomenon of youth unemployment.

Skill mismatch – due to youth being over-educated, over-skilled, under-educated or lacking experience – is one of the main factors responsible for youth unemployment in Mauritius.

To avoid a spike in youth unemployment, he called upon the youth to choose the right field of study to facilitate their integration into the labour market.

Nowadays, one of the biggest challenges in the economy is to incorporate the youth into the labour market and to remedy this situation, the Finance Minister highlighted some measures from Budget 2014 that have been introduced by the government.

Budget 2014 stresses on providing increasing employment opportunities to youth and women to increase their purchasing power and elevate their standard of living.

To address the issue of women unemployment, a “Back to Work” Programme is on the cards for women who wish to rejoin the labour force. It will consist of special training schemes to prepare them for at least 15 separate occupations.

On an economy wide level, data from Statistics Mauritius showed that for the third quarter of 2013 there were 47,300 unemployed people in Mauritius numbering 27,600 women (58%) and 19,700 men (42%).

Image (via YEP): The programme was launched last year with a provision of Rs 330 million and this year, Rs 300 million have been allocated to it.

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