With certain sectors haemorrhaging jobs while others can’t find enough qualified workers due to the economic upheaval unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic, the IMF on Wednesday urged Europe states to step up training programmes.
“The Covid-19 pandemic could result in a sizable reallocation of labour, especially among the low-skilled and young workers, as they are disproportionately employed in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic,” the International Monetary Fund said.
The tourism sector, especially in southern Europe, has been hard hit by coronavirus lockdowns and has shed jobs by the tens of thousands.
Meanwhile, IT companies seen their businesses boom as locked down consumers shifted further to buying goods online, and can’t recruit enough trained workers.
The IMF said in a report focusing on Europe that training assistance should be directed at the most vulnerable workers and those having the least qualifications.
It should also be directed at smaller companies that traditionally have less resources to dedicate to training, the IMF added.
Incentives to companies could also help them to take the risk of employing newly qualified help.
Meanwhile, aid directed to workers, like cushioning a loss of wages, could help people take the risk of jumping into a new profession.
Alfred Kammer, the head of the IMF’s European department, told a news conference it is important that countries intensify their efforts as “automation will continue and accelerate and it will add pressure on the labour market.”
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has suspended its Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba ( PDP- Obi 2) for his alleged involvement in the fake employment of 38 secondary school teachers in the state.
Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, announced this on Monday after the parliament deliberated on the report of the House Committee on Education on the recruitment of 366 teachers and 38 fake teachers in the payroll of the state civil service during plenary in Lafia.
“The committee recommended that Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba, Deputy Minority Leader of the House should be suspended and an ad-hoc committee be set up to investigate his alleged involvement in the fake employment of the teachers,” the Speaker said.
“I hereby set up a three-man ad- hoc committee to investigate his alleged involvement and report back to the House within two weeks.
“Hon Suleiman Yakubu Azara, member representing Awe South constituency is the Chairman of the committee; Hon Usman Labaran Shafa, member representing Toto/ Gadabuke constituency and Hon Samuel Tsebe, member representing Akwanga South as members of the committee.
“Mr Ibrahim Musa, the Deputy Clerk of the House is the Secretary of the committee. I can’t question his activities or involvement for now until the committee concludes its findings,as you commence your investigation, I wish you success.”
According to the Speaker, the House is not against the employment of the teachers but due process must be followed for equity and fairness and recruitment of teachers should be a periodic exercise.
He added, “Mr Anthony Ladan, a Senior Accountant, Bureau for Salaries who admitted to including the names of 38 teachers into the payroll of the state government without a directive from the Commissioner of Finance”.
The Speaker also directed that a staff of the Ministry of Education, Mr Michael Adonye Johnny – who is a syndicate – are to proceed on compulsory retirements.
“Mr John Nuhu, a former staff of the Teachers Service Commission ( TSC) and Ministry of Information, and a syndicate of fake employment, is to be handed over to the appropriate authority for prosecution.”
The lawmakers also agreed that the Director of the Bureau for Salaries, Mr Sulley Daheer and other staff of the bureau be redeployed to other departments of the state Ministry of Finance, asking the management of the state Teachers Service Commission ( TSC) to sit up to its statutory responsibilities in the interest of the education sector.
This is even as they called on the state government to conduct an independent investigation into the activities of MDAs to sanitize the system.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Daniel Ogazi, while presenting the report of the committee said that the committee found out that the syndicates collected between N50,000 and N100,000 to issue fake appointment letters to the applicants.
He told the House that the committee had invited the management of the Ministry of Education, Finance, Accountant General, the syndicate, one of the victims, Caroline Barde, among others to appear before the committee.
Hon Tanko Tunga, the Majority Leader of the House moved a motion for the adoption of the report which was seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba.
The House unanimously adopted the report.
It will be recalled that on August 16, the syndicates – John Nuhu and Michael Adonye Johnny – appeared before the committee and admitted forging the documents of the state Ministry of Education.
Also, Anthony Ladan, a senior accountant in the Salaries Bureau, admitted including the names of 38 teachers into the payroll of the state government without the directive from the Commissioner of Finance and Director, Salaries.
Amid the worsening economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, another 5.2 million US workers were jobless and sought unemployment benefits last week, the government reported Thursday.
The data through April 11 indicate the world’s largest economy has purged 22 million jobs since mid-March as the measures to contain the virus have forced companies, shops and restaurants to close their doors.
While initial claims filed in the latest week were nearly 1.4 million lower than the prior week, the news is still grim. In the comparable week of last year, only 203,000 people filed first-time claims for jobless benefits, according to the Labor Department report.
COVID-19 was cited as the reason for rising unemployment in every state that listed a cause, with widespread layoffs in hotels, food service, retail, construction and even mining reported.
Economists say this may indicate the layoffs have peaked, but the US unemployment rate is nonetheless likely to hit double digits in April.
“After an unprecedented climb, initial unemployment claims appear to have reached a vertiginous plateau,” Gregory Daco of Oxford Economic said in an analysis.
But he said the figures will remain “remain extraordinarily high in coming weeks as the economy plunges deeper into a recession” and the labor market enters a “traumatic period.”
A complaint has been filed with the US government accusing Facebook and 10 other companies of using the platform’s job ad targeting system to discriminate on the basis of gender.
The complaint was announced Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, a union called the Communications Workers of America and a labor law firm, on behalf of three female job seekers and a group of “thousands” of members represented by the union.
It charges that job ads on Facebook targeted male users only. It also alleges that most of the listings were for jobs in male-dominated fields, so women and non-binary users were excluded from seeing these ads.
Facebook lets advertisers target ads on the basis of gender and age, which is against the law in America, the complaint reads.
“I shouldn’t be shut out of the chance to hear about a job opportunity just because I am a woman,” said Bobbi Spees, one of the three women named in the complaint.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said in a statement to CNNMoney that there is no place for discrimination on Facebook.
“It’s strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse,” Osborne said.
Facebook will defend itself once it has reviewed the complaint, he added.
The ACLU noted that online platforms such as Facebook are generally not liable for content published by others.
“But in this case, Facebook is doing much more than merely publishing content created by others,” the advocacy group argued.
“It has built the architecture for this discriminatory marketing framework, enabled and encouraged advertisers to use it, and delivered the gender-based ads according to employers’ sex-based preferences.”
Last month the US Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of breaking the law by letting landlords and home sellers use its ad-targeting system to discriminate against potential buyers or tenants.
Facebook responded by cutting more than 5,000 ad-targeting options to prevent advertisers from discriminating on the basis of traits such as religion or race.
The clamour for a fourth mainland bridge in Lagos to complement the existing one, is getting realistic as Governor Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday announced plans to commence the process of its construction in May.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode revealed this at a town hall meeting held for the people of Lagos East Senatorial Zone.
Governor Ambode, who highlighted key achievements in security, education, job creation and infrastructure development, also said that the Lagos State government has concluded partnership with other state governments and neighbouring countries to drive growth and development of the state.
“We reaslised that one of the ways to fast-track our economic growth is through collaborations and partnerships.
“As a result, we entered into a partnership with Kebbi State for the establishment of a commodity value chain for the production, processing and distribution of commodities such as rice, wheat, groundnut, onions and beans.
“This activity is majorly in the East Senatorial Zone.
“In the same vein, many investors have shown interest in the actualization of our dream for the fourth mainland bridge. By the special grace of God, we will sign the MoU and commence action before May 29,” the Governor said.