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    Day 3 – Round Table – Full Employment and Entrepreneurship

    May 10, 2014

    Job Opportunities Enhanced by Healthy Entrepreneurship and Vocational Training

    The roundtable discussion on “Full Employment and Entrepreneurship” continued Friday (May 09) at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) for the third day. The discussion forum was chaired by the Youth Employment Specialist of Regional Programs and Projects for the International Labor Organization (ILO) Mr. Matthieu Cognac. Ms. Anjhula Singh Bais representing the Bais Selvanathan Foundation and Mr. Alpha Bacai Razzy representing the delegation of Guinea were also part of the panel.

    Ms. Anjhula said she is happy to have the opportunity to witness the energy of youth in the conference. She believes that not only entrepreneurship but also education is important in the discussion on entrepreneurship. In her speech, she stressed the decisive relationship between education and entrepreneurship. However, she believes that education needs to be redefined for the Post-2015 Agenda. Commenting on Sri Lanka, she said that the country will take time to change like any other country but not “overnight.”

    Mr. Razzy commenced his speech by commenting on the impact youth employment has on security, stability and democracy of a country. He believes that the “free ideas” of the youth, even vague, should be taken into consideration. Talking about participation of the youth, he further pointed out different meanings that could be given to “participation.” He also revealed that according to United Nations statistics, there is a dire need for a large number of job opportunities in Guinea.

    Mr. Cognac made remarks on “healthy entrepreneurship,” which he said is a crucial factor for job opportunities. He stated that economic growth of a country could be high even if unemployment is high. He pointed out the need of promoting skills and training, which is an expectation of employers at large. According to him, examples of skills employers expect include being a good leader and a good communicator who is motivated and has good presentation skills.

    He was also critical about vocational training being considered mostly as a “Plan B.” He thinks that it should be a prominent choice, not a “Plan B.” He praised Singapore for being very strong in advocating such vocational employment opportunities. Furthermore, he predicted that sectors like agriculture that are invisible at the moment will become enormous sectors to create a lot of job opportunities. He also mentioned how the Korean government supports youngsters in starting their own businesses away from the urban environment, which is a solution for unemployment as well as urbanization. Concluding his speech, he also mentioned the tourism industry, which is expected to generate millions of job opportunities in the years to come and could significantly help address the concerns of unemployment.

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