On the 28th September 2021, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) virtually (hybrid) launched the Botswana Labour Market Information System (LMIS) Metadata Handbook. The launch of the LMIS Metadata Handbook was in line with the HRDC Act No. 17 of 2013, Section 4 (2) which mandates HRDC to among others to establish and manage a National Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and National Education and Skills Development Data Base. The overall objective of developing and launching the LMIS Metadata Handbook is to enable the Labour Market Observatory (LMO) to effectively monitor the formulation and implementation of employment policies and labour market programmes.

Briefly giving the welcome remarks, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of HRDC Mr. Meshack Tafa, indicated that HRDC’s primarily focus will be on promoting widespread usage of the Handbook by Stakeholders such as research luminaries, scholars, policy makers and civil societies alike, so that national employment issues are coordinated, discussed and addressed from an informed position.The LMIS Metadata Handbook was officially launched by the Honourable Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development(MELSD) Mr. Mpho Balopi while the Honourable Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoTE), Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe gave the keynote address as the host. In his address, Hon. Dr. Letsholathebe informed the attendants (virtual) that the release of the LMIS Metadata Handbook came at an opportune time when nations

and the world need to closely monitor changes in the labour market. This is as a result of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on both the supply and demand of labour within the various sectors of the economy. He explained that, the emerging technological trends brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic requires Botswana to move with relative speed and develop the digital skills and competencies of its workforce. “This will enable the transformation aspired to by the Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP) of 2020 among others, and His Excellency the President of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s roadmap of attaining an inclusive, high income growth and Knowledge Based Economy (KBE) driven by technology and digital transformation” said Hon Dr Letsholathabe.

Hon. Dr. Letsholathebe urged all stakeholders, particularly those in the education and training sector of the need to re-think strategies that will encourage lifelong learning thus; up - skilling, re-skilling and multi-skilling. He concluded his address by indicating that the country needs to account for the youth, especially those who are unemployed and neither in education nor training. He pointed out that the out – of school and unemployed youth are vulnerable groups who are often limited in skills, not advanced in education attainment and most often they find themselves unemployed for longer periods and marginalised further by technological advancements and digital transformation.

For his part, the Honourable Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Mr. Mpho Balopi explained that the implementation of the Botswana LMIS gives hope to Botswana as it is a fundamental instrument for designing and evaluating public policies. Hon Balopi emphasised that, “LMIS Metadata Handbook was developed by HRDC in partnership with the Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development (MELSD) and Statistics Botswana (SB)through the technical support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)”. He explained that the handbook contains seventy-two (72) key indicators of the labour market, covering employment and other variables relating to employment. The LMIS Metadata Handbook will play an important role in the monitoring of the implementation of the National Employment Policy (NEP) which was recently approved by Parliament. He concluded by making an appeal to employers in the public and private sectors as well as the industry to ensure completion of the Employers Annual Returns in accordance with Section 9 of the Employment Act and remit at his Ministry.

Other speakers at the launch included Dr. Burton Mguni; Statistician General, Statistics Botswana who gave an overview of the importance of metadata in statistical analysis and reporting. On behalf of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dr. Rafael Diez de Medina; Chief Statistician and Director of Statistics Department, presented on the international perspective on LMO/LMIS metadata development and utilisation while Dr. Maxwell Parakokwa gave an update on the regional LMO/LMIS Project.

In giving vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology; Prof. Nelson Torto thanked all for making the event possible and particularly appreciated the ILO for its conviction and commitment towards our Country’s development, and indeed for contributing to build a stable international system of social justice for all people across the globe through the Decent Work Agenda.

News Date: 
Tuesday, September 28, 2021