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news | October 08, 2012 | Rep. Congo | Development

Congo Brazzaville: ˝A qualification = a job˝

The youth from Pointe Noire discuss employment issues with local businesses

On the 7th and 14th September 2012, ACTED held two employment Forum’s in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire based on the theme of “A qualification = a job”. The objective of this event was to promote university education to young people in Congo and to encourage them to follow a professional path. In addition, these forums facilitated meetings between young people and representatives from the business world. It is hoped that these meetings will improve the chances of the youth of successfully entering the professional world.

ACTED and its partners, the Congo Observatory for Human Rights and the Forum of Young Businesses in Congo, organised these two forums in order to encourage the meeting of young people and business professionals. The presence of the National Office of Employment and Labour (ONEMO) at this event brought with it an added element of expertise.

The forum was organised within the context of the ongoing project, ‘Raising awareness of the risks linked to illegal emigration and support of the professional reinsertion of migrants from the Republic of Congo’ and the main objectives were to promote the private sector, inform businesses on the profiles of the young graduates looking for work and educate young graduates about the processes of recruitment and advise college and university students about the professional fields open to them.

During these days of exchange, about 20 of the most influential businesses in Congo came and discussed with the young people present. These businesses all held stands from which they were able to distribute information about their activities, the positions available in their companies and identify the profiles they are looking for. The youth present at these forums were curious and listened attentively to the advice given by their potential employers, particularly when they gave tips with regard to recruitment and on how to improve their CV’s.

In addition to the forums, personnel and experts from the domain of Human Resources, directors and representatives from the ONEMO held workshops based on the subject of professional orientation. These workshops allowed the 1,500 young people present to find the answers to their questions and to facilitate their entry into the professional world.

The significant turn out at this event is demonstrative of the state of employment among young people in the Republic of Congo. According to the statistics of the National Center of Statistics and Economic Studies, the unemployment rate of young people aged between 15 and 29 and living in urban areas has reached 25%. Although the public sector and the para-public sector hires 23.9% of the Congolese workforce, the private sector represents just 2,4% of job opportunities in the country. The average time spent unemployed (an estimated 58 months) associated with the length of time spent studying (7 to 9 years, both men and women) shows that the academic courses need to be adapted to the needs of the employment market, this is essential in order to curb unemployment and ensure the diversification of the national economy.