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OIC labor ministers pledge extra spending to target joblessness

OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen and labor ministers of the OIC member states pose for a group photo at the end of the 4th Islamic Conference in Jeddah on Thursday. (SPA)
JEDDAH: Jobs for women and young people will be at the heart of labor strategy to boost productivity and economic growth, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced.
The 4th Islamic Conference of Labor Ministers said member states would focus on education and occupational training as they sought to reduce their 7.4 percent unemployment rate.
Yousef Al-Othaimeen, OIC secretary-general, said: “The Jeddah Declaration underlined that the average rates of unemployment in the OIC members states is much higher than in the rest of the world’s countries. The ministers have recognized the importance of investing in human resources as they represent a powerful key factor for productivity, economic growth, and a better quality of life. Thus, we commit to exerting more efforts to build the necessary skills for work and life, and to enhance the relation between education and employment.”
Al-Othaimeen said: “We stressed the need to provide better job opportunities for society’s weaker segments, especially the youth and women. We renew our commitment to carry out a comprehensive strategy, promote good job opportunities and occupational training, and take measures to improve the ability to find jobs and encourage the free business initiatives.”
He said labor ministers would increase coordination and cooperation among member states in the areas of employment, social protection and exchange of information.
“Labor ministers are determined to share expertise and exchange the best practices in the field of work, employment and social protection in order to solve the problem of unemployment by creating job opportunities and employing the youth and women,” he said.
Ministers expressed their appreciation for work undertaken to establish the OIC labor center, a specialist institution to be set up in Baku, Azerbaijan.
“The ministers also expressed through the Jeddah Declaration their deep appreciation to King Salman, his government and people for organizing the successful OIC 4th Labor Ministers Conference,” Al-Othaimeen said.

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