Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Many vacant posts exist in parastatals – Butale

Parastatal organisations under the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry have numerous vacant posts attributed to “unavailable suitable candidates”.

Worse still is the “low remuneration package” for the posts which is shunned by prospective suitable candidates.

The country’s current education system is attributed mainly to producing sub-standard products piled on the sprawling tertiary schools hell-bent on making profits than spawn ready-tailored graduates for the existing current markets, leaving the graduates in the lurch especially the vulnerable youths constituting the majority of the population.

Only the University of Botswana is credited of producing quality and tangible graduates suitable to fit into the current workforce equation, according to critics, particularly the opposition Members of Parliament.

As of March 21, 2017, Botswana Bureau of Standards had 18 vacant posts out of which six are occupied by temporary employees.

“The longest vacant post is that of Facilities Manager which has been open for 20 months,” revealed the Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Biggie Butale.The post has been vacant since July 2015.

“The challenges include unavailable suitable candidates and inability to attract the right candidates due to low remuneration package for the post,” Butale toldthe just ended session of Parliament.

As for the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Authority the vacant posts stand at nine, five of which has been filled by temporary employees.

“The period of longest vacant post is one year four months,” the junior minister stated, attributing the challenge in recruiting for the post to once more the unavailability of suitable candidates and low remuneration structure.

“The agency cannot afford the skills required for Structured Finance in the market as a lot of suitable candidates have turned down the offers from CEDA,” he noted.

“The Agency is therefore developing a separate pay structure for the department in order to attract the right candidate,” Butale added.

The Local Enterprise Authority pegs its vacant positions at 26 as at March 23, 2017 associated to a recruitment freeze of 14 positions since May 2013 as a cost saving measure to operate with a lesser workforce.

Butale said that the constrained financial resources since 2013 due to LEA subvention remaining the same resulted in 12 positions fallingvacant since October 2015. Todate LEA has six temporary employees and six interns engaged to acquire the required experience.

“This includes the 14 positions which have been frozen since May 2013 as a way of saving costs,” Butale further added.

Like their other peers in the ministry, the challenges that cause LEA to delay in filling these vacant posts are due to “unattractive remuneration packages with potential employees”.

“However, where possible, LEA has been filling up positions through internal promotions,” the Assistant Minister acknowledged.

The same fate also fall at the Competition Authority, Selebi-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit, Companies and Intellectual Property Authority, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre and Botswana Development Corporation- failing to recruit suitable candidates owing to financial constraints let alone the unavailability of suitable candidates.

At CA the vacant post status stands at one with six temporary employees engaged to acquire skills.

“The period for the longest vacant post is 11 months with the vacant post already advertised and the recruitment process on-going,” Butale told Parliament.

The same will go with CIPA which has50 vacancies, 12 of which have been engaged with temporary employees for specific projects.

Furthermore, the Authority has 34 young Batswana engaged through the Department of National Internship for purposes of gaining experience.

“The longest post is for the period of three years. Out of 131 positions in its establishment, a decision was taken to freeze 36 positions on account of the Authority’s financial position,” he further noted.

For their part SPEDU has 23 vacant posts. The recruitment is incrementally done every year according to the approved financial resources.

BITC has14 vacant posts whilst the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has two vacancies and currently has no temporary employees.

Concerned about the spiraling number of unemployment rate amongst Batswana particularly the youthful graduates as vacancies lie idle, Specially Elected MP Mephato Reatile posed the questions surrounding parastatals reporting to the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.

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