Providing jobs ranks among the key priorities of Uzbekistan’s socio-economic development and is a pivotal condition for improving the quality of people’s life. Every year Uzbekistan reports on thousands of new jobs created through the establishment of new facilities, upgrade, modernization and efficient use of existing production facilities, accelerated development of small business, housing construction, capacity building of home-based forms of work, as well as rehabilitation of inactive enterprises.
In recent years, the Cabinet of Ministers has been annually developing a Job Creation and Employment Program, which is afterwards approved by parliament. MPs have taken its implementation under special control. Every year it is streamlined taking into consideration the proposals of political party factions, experts and specialists of various fields. Thus, the document reflects the interests of various segments of the population and the general public.
The program aims at the implementation of integrated and interrelated measures on employment through the involvement of capacity of areas and sectors of the economy, rational use of human resources, taking into account demographic factors and structural changes in the economy.
HOW IT WORKS
Job Creation and Employment Program for 2015 has envisaged employment of 987,500 people. The document attaches importance to the employment of graduates, women, people with disabilities and other categories of people in need of social support.
748,000 new jobs have been created in the first nine months of 2015, including over 451,000 (60.3%) jobs in rural areas. The estimated rates will most likely be met by the end of the year.
Over 163,000 jobs have been provided through the implementation of targeted programs in industry, services, agriculture (livestock, poultry farming, horticulture, fish farming, beekeeping, horticulture, sericulture, viticulture).
The operation of special industrial zones in Navoi, Tashkent and Jizzakh regions is seen as a remarkable factor for employment, as they ensure the commissioning of new facilities and creation of additional jobs in existing industries, as well as establishment of conjugated jobs in the chain of interbranch relations like transport, construction, social infrastructure.
O'zbekyengilsanoat, O’zkimyosanoat, Uzbekneftegaz, Uzbektourism, O’zpharmsanoat, O’zavtosanoat companies, the Association of Food Industry Companies and others have been successfully creating jobs through the commissioning of new facilities, and at existing enterprises.
For example, being the driving force for the entire industry of Uzbekistan, the automotive industry gives a new impetus to the development of related industries and sustainable employment growth. The sector is represented by a range of enterprises and organizations within the framework of O’zavtosanoat joint-stock company, providing more than 27,000 jobs. The company merges automotive enterprises and manufacturers of consumer goods, operated by advanced equipment at the highest world standards, which can be flexibly and quickly reset into the production of new kinds of products.
585,000 people have been employed by small businesses, farms and small economies, home-based enterprises. The sector has been dominating in terms of job creation in all regions, particularly in the capital, where the share of micro and small enterprises makes up 74% of the total population provided with employment, as well as in Tashkent, Surkhandarya, Bukhara regions and Karakalpakstan.
Strong loan support for small businesses has been underway in the current year as well. Commercial banks have allocated 8.5 trillion soums for this purpose. Preferential loans are mainly allocated for the projects that envisage creation of jobs in remote rural areas.
A relatively low fixed single tax rate for small businesses and micro-firms, which comes to 5% in industry and 10% in trade and public catering companies, ranks among significant motivations for creation of jobs in the sector.
Powered by the National Bank, the Fund for Support of Exports of Small and Private Businesses and its regional branches in regions are seen as another important factor. They are exempt from payment of all taxes, levies, duties and compulsory contributions to state funds, except for single social payment, by January 1, 2019.
Development of all forms of home-based work, including cooperation with companies on labor contracts, craftsmanship and family entrepreneurship has contributed to the employment of more than 200,000 unemployed, predominantly women, people with disabilities and other socially vulnerable categories of the population.
The law on the family business has played an important role in this process, for it has provided a legal foundation for the development of family business as the key form of small business and private entrepreneurship, and creation of jobs. It is worth noting that family enterprises are subject to all the privileges, preferences and guarantees provided for small businesses by the legislation. Flexible working schedule and divided labor appears quite real in this case unlike other forms of activities. This allows partial involvement in the production process of commonly unemployed categories of the population like women with little children.
A significant part of home-based jobs has been organized in the regions that are traditionally considered as centers of national craftsmanship: Namangan, Ferghana, Kashkadarya, Samarkand, Khorezm, Bukhara regions.
Job fairs have become an effective way of promoting employment, as they aim at introducing job seekers to vacancies, providing them with detailed information on the labor market, the companies that seek for workers, employment opportunities, and retraining based on the vacancies available. Over 900 job fairs in the current year have been attended by 44,000 organizations and enterprises. Dozens thousands of people have been provided with job placement.
COLLEGE FOLLOWED BY JOB
Employment of graduates of vocational colleges and higher educational institutions has been a priority of all employment related activities. The compulsory continuous 12-year education allows students acquiring professional skills in the most promising sectors of the economy.
The implementation of targeted measures on the employment of graduates of educational institutions with the focus on vocational colleges, including attachment of students of graduate courses in specific enterprises, tracking the observance of tripartite agreements between employers, vocational colleges, graduates and their parents, ranks among the main thrusts of the Job Creation and Employment Program for 2015.
The list of specialties is corrected every year on the basis of the Program with an eye to applications of certain enterprises, allowing training specialists in demand, and ensuring employment of graduates in line with their specialty. Selection of employment places is carried out during the school year. Many students, who demonstrate their best qualities in the course of practical training at the enterprises, are invited by employers after graduation. The job fairs that were organized specifically for young specialists have been assigned a special part.
College graduates have been increasingly practicing open days for starting their own business as a new way of employment. The initiative of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection involves commercial banks, district administrations, local community committees, branches of the Women's Committee and the Chamber of Trade and Industry of Uzbekistan.
There are stands with samples of equipment for mini-bakeries, sewing and weaving manufactures, sets for opening photo salons, cafes and beauty salons, mobile car washes, tools for provision of construction and repair services, and others in courtyards of each college. Having seen and touched the samples with their own hands, young people could choose equipment and tools suitable for doing business in a certain field. The coordinated interaction of state and public organizations that are responsible for the issue of registration, licensing and approving documents is another reason why the initiative is popular. Having decided about the area of activity, a graduate had an opportunity to undergo all the registration and licensing procedures and obtain the documents he needed on the spot. Commercial banks offered loans for the purchase of equipment and tools at preferential interest rates from 3% to 9%, depending on the business area and amount of the loan.
Recent years have shown an increasing demand for IT and computer technology specialists, hotel management and service, construction and other specialists.
“This year, we have graduated more than 350 specialists in information and communications systems, repair of computers and computer systems, accounting,” said the Deputy Director of Mirobod Vocational College of Computer Technologies Shohruh Bozorboyev. “Nearly 80% of them already work in Sharq Publishing Company, within the system of O’zbekiston Pochtasi, Photon, O’zLITIneftgaz, Toshkentdonmahsulotlari, and many others. Tripartite agreements were concluded yet during the practical training. More than 20% of the graduates decided to continue their study in universities.”
Many graduates of vocational colleges of the country have been successfully running farming and small economy management, powered by knowledge and skills they had acquired during their study.
For example, supported by regional administrations of secondary special and vocational education, labor and social protection of the population, the Kamolot Youth Movement has developed a specialized program on the involvement of college graduates in the establishment of small economies in Syrdarya region. Young farmers will be provided with plots of land with ready irrigation systems as well as with concessional loans.
Representatives of the municipality and all stakeholders conducted meetings and interviews with students and their parents in educational institutions. As a result, 1,400 graduates expressed a desire to open a small business, and many of them applied for land. Based on a resolution of local authorities, they were granted over 270 hectares of fertile lands, and assisted in primary agronomic works. This has become a reference point in the working experience for many enthusiastic entrepreneurs. They received their first employment records. Now the young farmers grow corn, melons, vegetables, sunflower and sesame seeds, fruit tree saplings on the allocated lands.
“I have planted cucumbers at the advice of my father,” says a graduate of Gulbahor Vocational College of Agriculture in Khavast district of Syrdarya region, Zuhriddin Karimov. “The harvest was excellent; we gathered it with our whole family.”
Given the demand for skilled manpower in the agricultural sector, another program on practical training was developed for the students of vocational colleges in local tractor fleets with the further employment of successful graduates. The program clearly defines the rights and responsibilities, the mission of educational institutions, local Agrotehservis companies and other parties that are interested in building machine operating skills in students. Young people are attached to production foremen and experienced machine operators.
The measures taken contributed to the employment of over 600,000 graduates of educational institutions last year alone.
WITH THE SUPPORT OF PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS
Public organizations and civil society institutions have been actively involved in the employment of the population along with government agencies.
MPs have taken the implementation of Job Creation and Employment Program under special control. They regularly hold related meetings, and study the state of affairs in regions.
For example, during a parliamentary hearing on September 30, 2015, they scrutinized detailed information on the state of job creation and employment due to the introduction of new facilities in 2015, upgrade, modernization and efficient use of existing production facilities, mainly in industry, service sector, expansion of infrastructure, communications and housing construction, accelerated development of small businesses, including individual and family businesses, farming enterprises, capacity building of home-based work, and rehabilitation of inactive enterprises.
As noted by MPs, the number of employees in the field of individual entrepreneurship has increased significantly owing to the incentives that had been introduced in accordance with the Presidential Decree on ensuring a reliable protection of private property, small business and private entrepreneurship, and elimination of barriers to their rapid development of May 15, 2015. Meanwhile, there is still a need to intensify efforts in creating jobs and employment in certain regions.
As proposed by some factions, the local authorities, administrations and their working commissions will monthly analyze the course of implementation of regional employment programs and take respective measures based on the approved target lists and network diagrams. It is envisaged to provide jobs to the unemployed, as well as free advice on labor law, and help with choosing jobs for self-employment. It is expected that this will make the monitoring of program’s implementation more effective in online mode, and take additional measures to ensure its unconditional implementation.
The role of citizens' assemblies in this context is remarkable. Employment of the population with the focus on women and young people, and their involvement in entrepreneurship and family business rank among the directions of their activity.
Labor inspectors organize conversations and legal advice in citizens’ assemblies together with community activists, as well as vacancy fairs. Such an activity has contributed to employment of 230,000 residents of citizens' assemblies.
... Large-scale and effective work on the employment of the population has been under way. In order to fulfill the mission, it is envisaged to further enhance the role of small business, engage young people in entrepreneurial activity in accordance with the legislative acts on the creation of optimal business environment, and expand the entrepreneurs' access to loan and raw material resources
(As part of the social order of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions under the Oliy Majlis).