Local job market improving: CZI

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Harare (New Ziana) –Economic recovery efforts which the government is pursuing are bearing fruit with the opening up of the local job market pointing to a thriving economy that is able to create employment, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) said on Tuesday.

Under the National Development Strategy 1 (2021-2025), the government targets the creation of more than 700 000 jobs as a key objective towards the attainment of a Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030.

CZI president Kurai Matsheza told New Ziana that the increasing number of job adverts in various local publications and other spaces signified a number of factors including an improved job market and the migration of labour following the easing of lock downs in countries throughout the world.

“Yes it is a sign of an improving job market. The other reason is also the migration of labour. People are leaving so they have got to be replaced. So it is a combination of those things.”

Matsheza said now that the economy was creating jobs, it was important to implement strategies to retain them.

“As you know the global job market is also opening up with the easing of lock downs. To stop the brain drain, we need to do several things. One is to pay well, train our people, listen to their needs, ensure flexibility in terms of work schedules, and equipping them in terms of digital skills. These are some of the things we need to be looking at going into the future,” he said.

The Second Republic has put in place several measures to support industrial growth, the latest being those announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube last week, and buttressed by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Dr. John Mangudya in his Monetary Policy statement on Monday.

For example, last Friday Professor Ncube introduced export incentives including allowing miners to start paying up to 50 percent of their royalties in local currency, a move which industry experts said would allow miners to deploy more foreign currency to expansion projects and improve production thereby, in turn creating employment opportunities.

Further, Dr Mangudya increased retention thresholds for foreign currency earnings from tobacco and cotton sales to 75 percent and 35 percent respectively, a development that will allow farmers to plow back proceeds into production, also in turn creating jobs.

Matsheza said although re-tooling and introducing modern technologies remained one of the major challenges in local industry, favorable government policies would spur growth.

He cited the recent measures announced by fiscal and monetary authorities to ensure wider use of the local currency as ideal for promoting industrial growth.

The anticipated good 2021/2022 agricultural season, Matsheza said, was also good for local industry.

“The other thing obviously is commodity prices. We hope these continue to be firm and as the mining sector performs strongly, it will also permeate and help the other sectors as well,” he said.

“So we have got to (industry and the authorities) work together to solve current challenges.

“For example, we have to ask ourselves what it is we can do to solve the currency issues as a key enabler of industrial performance. The RBZ governor said yesterday (Monday) in his statement that they will carry on refining the currency issues and also pursue other targets that they set for themselves. So as the results of those initiatives filter through it will enable all of us to perform better.”

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