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G20 labour ministers stress job creation

business Updated: Apr 21, 2010 12:19 IST

Labour ministers of the G20 group of leading economies, including India, have stressed the need for their governments to keep job creation and preservation high on the agenda as the global economy recovers.

In recommendations drafted ahead of the ministerial meeting that began in Washington on Tuesday, the ministers recommended that as some countries experience economic recovery "continued attention be paid to job creation and job preservation, including vigorous implementation of existing policies and consideration for additional employment measures".

Indian Minister of Labour and Employment, Mallikarjun Kharge, is making a presentation on the 100 days of rural employment guarantee scheme in India as one of the key innovations that India has made.

US Deputy Under Secretary for the Bureau of International Labor Affairs Sandra Polaski described it as a "policy, which has been challenging to implement but at the end of the day very successful, I think successful beyond the expectations of almost everyone".

"And India has learned and has refined the strategy, and so there is a great deal of anticipation to hear from the minister about these policies, how they have worked, and are there lessons that are transferable to other countries at low and middle income levels", she told foreign media ahead of the closed door conference.

Hosted by US Labour Secretary Hilda L. Solis, the conference has also recommended that social protection systems be strengthened and employment and poverty alleviation placed at the centre of national and global economic strategies.

Another recommendation is that the quality of jobs be improved where fundamental rights at work are respected, and that workforces are prepared for future challenges and opportunities through skills training.

The meeting was mandated by the G20 summit hosted by President Barack Obama in Pittsburgh last September to ensure that employment and the challenges that the economic crisis is posing for working families is kept front and centre.

Solis said the ministers hope to accomplish two main goals. The first is to prepare a set of recommendations for measures that countries should consider in order to tackle the job crisis.

These measures will help set the stage for a sustainable, balanced recovery that creates good jobs for all those who want to work or who are underemployed, she said.

The second goal is to develop an understanding among the ministers on the range of labour market conditions and challenges faced by the G20 countries in order to build a foundation for future discussion and cooperation.

The recommendations of G20 Labour Ministers that will be finalised during the two-day meetings, will be presented to Obama Wednesday afternoon.