National Employment Policy Creation Vital In PNG To Address High Unemployment Rate

Draft policy will address high unemployment, underemployment and encourage and promote job opportunities for job seekers covering all employment sectors

By Miriam Zarriga

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 29, 2016) – Papua New Guinea has no national employment policy.

This was made known by Minister responsible for Labour and Industrial Relations Benjamin Poponawa who presented his statement in Parliament last week.

He said that the development of one was paramount given the increasingly high unemployment rate.

"The department in 2015 started the ground work to develop the first national employment policy to be an overarching and all-inclusive policy with assistance from development partners, the International Labour Organisation regional office and jointly with the departments of Prime Minister, Personnel Management, National Planning and Monitoring, Trade, Commerce and Industry and PNG Employers Federations and PNG Trade Union Congress.

"This policy will address high unemployment, underemployment and encourage and promote job opportunities for job seekers covering all employment sectors, including small to medium size enterprises, where there is potential for job creation to minimise the high unemployment."

Mr Poponawa said that the current employment base is narrow because its focus is only in the formal sector which needs to be expanded to include other sectors.

A National Executive Council submission seeking approval to establish the National Task Force Technical Working Group is before the NEC.

"When NEC endorses it a nationwide consultation will be carried out to gauge views and comments of the public, stakeholders and focus groups in this national policy development drive."

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