By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan is the leader among the CIS countries in solving the problems of youth employment, Minister for Labor and Social Protection of Population Salim Muslumov said at the conference on the preparation of the Decent Work Programme for 2016-2020.
He noted that measures to promote youth employment in Azerbaijan are highly appreciated by the international community.
“Azerbaijan is the only CIS country, which entered the Top-10 countries for solving problems of youth employment, drawn up by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The employment strategy, approved by the head of state in 2005, and other state programs are highly valued in many international forums,” Muslumov said.
The Minister also mentioned the ILO activities on youth employment in Azerbaijan. "The ILO conducted a lot of work in the country in the framework of the 'Cooperation in the sphere of youth employment in the CIS' project, including such pilot projects as 'Support for young people with higher education in search of the first job' and the 'Program on employment subsidization," Muslumov said.
He reminded that Azerbaijan took the first place in the contest for the best practical approach in the sphere of youth employment in the CIS, and was awarded a special ILO diploma.
Currently, the rate of unemployment in Azerbaijan stands slightly above 5 percent, while this figure is 10% among young generation.
For last five years, the State Employment Service under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection has provided employment for about 30,000 people. Most of them are young people. In total, over the past 10 years, the number of people attracted to professional training courses by employment agencies and receiving additional education increased 2.5 times.
Muslumov also touched upon the case of qualified workers in the country."Currently, Azerbaijan is experiencing difficulties with a shortage of skilled workers. For example, in the last few years we witness an accelerated development of the agricultural sector, but at the same time the country faces an acute shortage of tractor drivers, workers and craftsmen."
The minister assured that the country’s leadership is taking all necessary measures in order to increase the number of qualified local personnel. In this regard, the Agency for Vocational Education was created and the agency is going to launch a Ganja regional center soon.
"Such centers already function in Baku and Goychay. With opening the Ganja center, we will finish the first stage in construction of regional centers of vocational education," the minister noted, adding that five more regional centers will be opened over the country in the near future.
Muslumov also spoke about the necessity of creating the Labor Fund in Azerbaijan. "We had once proposed to create this Fund on the basis of the minor contributions of companies on insurance against accidents in production, but still have not received a response from the relevant authorities," he noted. However, actions on creation of the Labor Fund are still underway.
The minister stressed that the appropriate insurance companies should contribute to the establishment of the Fund. That will allow them to participate in the work process of the Fund and monitor its deductions.
To date, the services on compulsory insurance against accidents at production in Azerbaijan are supported by three insurance companies -- Ateshgah Life, Qala Life and PASHA Life.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz