Govt vows to urgently tackle joblessness

Egypt's Minister of Manpower and Immigration Aisha Abdel Hady promised, in a press statement on Monday, to provide urgent solutions for unemployment, saying the problem is to become a government priority.

The move is presumed by observers to be an attempt to fend off potential protests over rising jobless rates.

The government has been anxious recently to appease Egyptians who are angry over climbing prices. Analysts believe the state fears repercussions from Tunisia, where four weeks of popular protests over unemployment forced president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on 13 January after 23 years in power.

The ministry is close to achieving its targets in the fight against unemployment through a package of policies adopted by concerned state institutions, Abdel Hady said.

She added that her ministry will start recording workers' job requests and employers' vacancies on its main database before coordinating both sections.

She added that ministry-run recruitment offices will comb the job market to guide job seekers to jobs.

Abdel Hady said the ministry runs training courses nationwide for workers of different categories, with the aim of providing personnel with the experience required for occupations both at home and abroad.

She noted that some jobs are vacant due to applicants' lack of required qualifications, and attributed the fact to a gap between education and job market needs.

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