A Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) plan to establish employment and job training centers throughout Iraq aims to create new jobs and speed the process of rebuilding, according to US and Iraqi officials involved in the plan, reported Washington File.
In an October 22 briefing at the Pentagon, US Assistant Labor Secretary Chris Spear said the centers will provide training in skills reflecting Iraq's needs, such as construction, electronics and agriculture. The centers also will register workers and their skills, which will assist with job placement, and provide job-transition training, he said. As Iraq's employment needs change, the training curriculum will change as well, he added.
Spear appeared with three officials of Iraq's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs who were in the United States to learn how to build an employment and training system in their country. The officials met with various US Labor Department officials and toured an employment center in Minnesota.
Spear noted that Iraq's employment system under the Baath Party did not have unemployment insurance or workers' compensation programs, or a national training program. In addition, the labor ministry had not kept labor statistics for 20 years, said director of employment and training for the new centers in Iraq, Sawsan Mahdi.
Mahdi said a total of 27 centers are planned for all governing regions of Iraq. They are expected to be completed by the middle of 2004, she said. Skilled workers are needed immediately for construction work on hospitals, schools and government buildings. She added that longer-term, many jobs are expected to be created in agriculture, restoring Iraq's historical sites and in building a tourism industry. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )