By Mantoe Phakathi
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) presented ICT and other technical support worth over E720 000 (USD52 896) to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to support the ongoing Labour Force Survey (LFS) exercise.
The ICT equipment consisting of laptops, desktops, hard drives and USBs was presented to the Acting Minister for Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pholile Shakantu, on May 12, 2021.
The UNDP support also includes training on calibration of data collection tools, data analysis and report writing. It also covers fuel for the LFS vehicles for collecting the data all over the country for both the pre-survey and actual survey; and airtime for the data enumerators.
The LFS is an essential tool to provide accurate information to employers, workers, officials, businesses, agencies and the general public on the state of the labour market of a country. The LFS also provides information about economic activity of the population; employed, unemployed, under employed, formal/informal employment, working time and earnings.
The labor force data collected will feed into the Labor Market Information System (LMIS) that has recently been developed by the Ministry to help education and training institutions to align their skills with the available market, monitor state of the labor force supply and demand, as well as promote employment and other policy interventions by the government.
The UNDP support will contribute to the strengthening of data management for planning and policy decision making as well as the monitoring and reporting of key SDG targets by the Country.
At an event held at Sibane Hotel, Ezulwini, Hon. Shakantu expressed the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini’s gratitude for the support adding that the outcome of the LFS will help the country to understand the state of the labour force.
“There are many issues that are raised about the labour availability and this survey will help the government to deal with them,” said Hon. Shakantu.
Speaking at the same event, UNDP Programme Specialist, Ms. Gugulethu Dlamini, who was representing the UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Rose Ssebatindira, said the LFS is aimed at helping the country understand the labour market structures and respond to the high unemployment rate which stands at 28.2 per cent.
Ms. Dlamini concluded that this support is in line with the UNDP Country Programme outcome on promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth and strengthening the national planning system for data, statistical and information systems to ensure evidence-based interventions and reporting on SDGs.
(Mantoe Phakathi is the Communication Specialist at UNDP Eswatini)