HRDC presents survey findings on skills needs in agricultural sector

The Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) presented survey findings on skills needs and manpower requirements for the agricultural sector during a validation session held this morning at NG Tower, EbAne. The Director of the HRDC, Mr Raj Auckloo, and other personalities were present on the occasion.

Professionals from the agricultural sector as well as representatives from relevant Government bodies, public and private education and training institutions, and students were invited to validate the survey findings and manpower requirements for the sector.

The survey's objectives were to assess the skills status in the agricultural sector in Mauritius and identify the immediate and future skills requirements for the sector. It also aimed at providing a basis to build projects so as to address skills gaps and eventually make policy recommendations to reduce these skills gaps in the sector.

In his opening remarks, Mr Raj Auckloo recalled that the agricultural sector was once the backbone of the country's economy and is still contributing to the Gross Domestic Product of Mauritius. Today, the sector employs more than 40 000 workers and play an important role in the country's economy.

The skills studies, he emphasised, are fundamental data sources which need to be regularly conducted to update intelligence on skills needs at enterprise level. He also underlined that the dynamics of the labour market, coupled with the corporate strategy of firms and the economic orientation of the country, require a workforce equipped with up-to-date skills.

Main findings

The survey was carried out among 82 enterprises engaged in the agricultural sector with the aim to identify the immediate and future skills requirements and collect data as per occupational group in the industry.

According to the survey findings, the preferred skills in-demand for the sector for the next five years are namely problem-solving skills; ability to learn; flexibility and versatility to tackle a wide range of technical and non-technical subjects; team work; ability to work methodically; and analytical skills.

The survey highlighted the relevance of placement/on-the-job training as enterprises tend to employ persons who already have some experience in the field for which they apply for. The importance of linkages between employers and training providers so as to provide high quality services and address the issue of skills mismatch was also highlighted.

The proposed recommendations of the study are to foster a culture of training among employees and employers; attract youth to work in the sector; promote multitasking through tailor-made training; and provide more incentives for retention of manpower.

Source: Government of Mauritius