Expatriates vital for economy

August 24, 2015, 9:26am

Expatriates vital for economy

The Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment-Creation Alpheus Muheua said foreigners who are employed in Namibia fill the crucial skills’ gap in the country.
He said foreigners are allowed to work in Namibia as per Immigration Act in areas where Namibians do not have the necessary skills or suitable qualifications, adding that the number of unskilled persons have come to a very crucial stage.
“It is my considered opinion that Namibia does benefit from the employment of foreigners in that they fill that crucial skills’ gap, while they also transfer these scarce skills to Namibians,” Muheua told The Villager.
He said in terms of affirmative legislation, understudies are appointed from among the staff complement of any company for each foreigner to fill the required skills which cannot be filled.
The latest 2013/2014 Employment Equity Commission (EEC) annual report indicated that while persons with disabilities comprised a mere 0.9% of managerial positions, non-Namibians had 6% of the managerial positions.
Racially-disadvantaged persons were the highest unskilled in the period of 2013/2014 as there were 30208 men and women in total, while the racially-advantaged persons without skills were 49, showing a high skills’ level. There were only two unskilled non-Namibians in the period working in Namibia.
The report identified 7% non-Namibian employees accounting for top management posts, while 1% of non-Namibian men had the total of the overall workforce for the period under review. Racially-disadvantaged women represented 42% of the increasing workforce.
“Women surpassed sectors such as financial intermediation, manufacturing, the public sector, the services’ sector, tourism and hospitality and the wholesale and retail sector,” the report indicated.
During the same 2013/2014 period, a total of 356 foreign women and men were recruited in different sectors of the local workforce, while 62 of them received promotions.
Analysing promotions from the overall cumulative workforce, the report indicated that “a total of 6403 employees were promoted during the 2013/2014 review period, representing an increase of 121% in the number of employees promoted in the previous corresponding review period, when only 640 employees were promoted. 95% of the employees were persons in designated groups, and 1% were non-Namibians”.
In the same period, about 23217 black Namibians vacated their employment positions.
“The majority of employees whose contracts of employment ended were men with 61%, and 2% non-Namibians, while 0.8% were persons with disabilities,” the report stated.
Of the total number of people who vacated their positions, 261 were dismissed due to incapacity, 1 398 were retrenched, 6 498 vacated due to non- renewal of contracts, 11 001 were due to other unspecified reasons, while resignations accounted for 9 478.
“Resignations accounted for the majority of contract terminations, namely 37%, followed by the non-renewal of contracts with 25%, and unspecified reasons at 21%.
Male employees compromised the majority of employees who resigned their positions during the 2013/2014 review year, namely 56%,” the report stated.
In the report, Employment Equity Commissioner Vilbard Usiku said even though the findings are encouraging, the results achieved for persons with disabilities were a cause for concern, compared to the other designated groups.
“This indicates the need for further efforts and focused attention to improve their representation as they are under-represented at virtually all occupational levels,” he said.

Donald Mathys