NATIONAL BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT
The National Bureau of Employment was established in 2009 by the Government of Liberia. It is an amalgamation of the Bureau of Employment Services and the Liberia Emergency Employment Programme and the Liberia Employment Action Programme (LEEP/LEAP), a foremost employment strategy designed by the Government of Liberia, International Labour Organization, UNDP and other international organizations at the end of the civil conflict to boost employment activities for youth, women and vulnerable groups. The basic aims of this formation were to avoid duplications, centralize and coordinate employment activities within the Ministry of Labour.
According to the organogram of the Bureau designed by the International Labour Organization, the Bureau consists of three sections: a) Employment services; b) Labour Market Information and c) Policy Implementation Unit. However, the Labour Market Information function has been taken over by the Bureau of Statistics of the Ministry of Labour to avoid duplication overlapping functions. The Employment Services session deals with the registration of job seekers and canvassing for vacant positions in the private sector, while Policy Implementation Unit is responsible to monitor the implementation of the National Employment Policy Action Plan.
The Bureau serves as a public employment agency which primary responsibilities are to register job seekers, counsel and find employment opportunities in the private sector through canvassing and referral services. It is also responsible to train job seekers and carry out employment related functions for students in high schools, colleges/universities, vocational /technical institutions.
Activities of the Bureau
A. Registration and posting of vacancies
According to the Labour Practices Law of Liberia, before any company hire a foreign national, a copy of the vacancy announcement must be filed with the National Bureau of Employment to ascertain whether there is any qualified Liberian for similar position within the data bank of job seekers at the National Bureau of Employment. Upon receipt of these notices of vacancies, they are posted on the Ministry’s bulletin for the consumption of job seekers that have registered with the Bureau or any qualified person(s), and countercheck with the data bank for suitable candidates.
B. Registration of Job Seekers
Job seekers with appropriate credentials are registered at the Bureau free of charge. During the progress, the job seekers provide information about his/her qualification and experience backed by credentials. He/she is given registration form to fill in. The information gathered is then computerized and documents filed for reference.
C. Data Bank
The Bureau hosts the national data bank of job seekers. It registers and maintains records of job seekers through a system that increasingly make use of information technology or jobs registered by print media and other ministries and agencies.
- Job seekers are asked to provide academic/professional credentials for verification
- Employment Officers interview job seekers on the level of skills, knowledge and work experience.
E. Job Matching and Referral
- Matching qualified job seekers and job vacancies to potential employers is a regular function of Bureau. This process has helped many qualified persons to obtain entry level jobs in the private sector of the economy.
F. Training (Career Planning/Employment Services)
Conduct regular training for senior high students, colleges/universities on career planning so as to make sound career choices. This approach has helped many students, especially those at the high school levels to make career choices that have reduced the number of students in the business and liberal arts colleges of our universities.
Another component of the Ministry of Labour training program focuses on prospective graduates from colleges/universities and vocational/technical institutions about to enter the job market. The training focuses on strategies on how to find a job, interview techniques, maintaining jobs, develop positive job attitudes, etc.
G. Monitoring and evaluation
The bureau monitors and evaluates the implementation of the National Employment Policy. The policy is being implementation through the Technical Committee of sector agencies. The monitoring process was active prior the advent of Ebola, with the conduct of the monitoring and evaluation training for members of the Technical Committee, establishment of the National Employment Council and the Technical committee, distribution of monitoring template, among others.
With the expiration of the Action Plan in 2017, the Bureau has planned an evaluation of the Action Plan to set the pace for re-visitation of the Action Plan under the Pro Poor Agenda.
I. Community based projects
In line with the National Employment Policy, emergency employment opportunities are encouraged given the slow pace of the national economy to employ large number of the unemployed. As such, short term employment programs are sometimes carried out with budgetary support from the Central government. This activity has helped many young people to get short term employment in the leeward counties. At present, there is no budgetary appropriation under the 2018/2019 fiscal budget for employment initiatives.