Some 13% of youth of working age are unemployed, the Senegalese Prime minister, Mrs Aminata Touré, said in Dakar on Tuesday. She was speaking at the opening of the 12th edition of the employment forum held by the Movement of Senegalese Companies (MEDS).
'The situation must be corrected and the ceremony that brings us together is undoubtedly proof of the growing mobilization of the various society groups in the fight to end unemployment, under-employment and poverty,' she told company managers who met on the occasion.
Mrs Touré highlighted various initiatives of the government to solve youth unemployment including a convention signed last April with the private sector to facilitate the integration of the youth.
'The weak quality of vocational training and the lack of coherence between the fields proposed and the needs expressed by employers cause to some extent the development of the informal sector,' said MEDS president, Mbagnick Diop.
'The national employment policy must focus on a huge knowledge of the job market and on the deployment of services to ensure fluidity,' he added.
Mr Diop said the quality of vocational training was sometimes poor or simply inappropriate to the needs of the job market.
He urged the Senegalese universities to reform the vocational training system to adapt them to the demands of a 'new economy'.
MEDS president said that new jobs were in the sectors with high added value of knowledge where employees, in addition to being competent, were flexible and creative.
He said that to ease social tension caused by unemployment and preserve social cohesion, Senegal should promote self-employment, particularly in the sectors neglected or nonexistent.