December 14, 2018, in Tashkent, an international conference "The Future of the Labor Sector: initiatives to ensure decent employment on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the International Labor Organization" was held.
It was attended by government delegations from various countries and labor experts of international organizations. The ILO delegation, led by Guy Rider, the director general of the organization, includes the director of the ILO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, Heinz Koller, the director of the ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Olga Kulaeva, the chief specialist on employment issues at the ILO office, Mikhail Pushkin.
The dialogue participants were the ministers of labor of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Vice-Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Kazakhstan Nurzhan Altayev, Deputy Minister of Labor of Azerbaijan, First Deputy Head of the Migration Service of the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment of Tajikistan, Deputy Minister of Labor of Turkmenistan and Deputy Minister of Labor and social protection of the Russian Federation.
The Republic of Kazakhstan has been a member of the ILO for 25 years and fulfills its obligations to the organization in accordance with its standards and national practice. Over the years of joint work, our country has ratified 24 conventions whose obligations have been implemented into national legislation.
In 2019, the ILO - one of the oldest specialized UN agencies - will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The centenary will provide an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the ILO and confirm its position as an authoritative global organization in the field of labor.
“We appreciate the work of the ILO for support, assistance in improving the legislative framework in the field of labor and social issues, employment development, labor protection and social dialogue, promoting ratification and implementation of international labor standards, providing technical assistance through the provision of advice, recommendations and other orientation and training programs, ”the Vice-Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who participated in the section“ Decent work and employment of the population ”, emphasized.
Nurzhan Altaev spoke about five key challenges that could subject the labor market to radical changes.
Among them - digitalization and the introduction of new technologies, and the main risk is exposed to the profession of low and medium skill levels, such as drivers, cashiers, office staff; aging of the population of the Earth, as a result of which the load on the workforce grows; the increasing involvement of reserve labor force in the labor markets - previously unemployed women, the elderly and people with disabilities; changing labor requirements (in the future, functional skills in science, technology, digital literacy, emotional intelligence, soft skills such as creativity, critical thinking that will affect the educational system) will be demanded; development of new, more flexible forms of employment (the number of "freelancers" who choose their own occupation and work time increases so that it brings the maximum income, which makes it necessary to change taxation, pension, and social security systems).
Since the 2000s, Kazakhstan has been among the fastest growing economies in the world. Since 2001, the labor force has increased by more than 20% and today stands at 9.1 million people. The number of employed people increased by one third, from 6.7 million to 8.6 million people.
At the same time, in the structure of the employed population, the number of employees (6.5 million people) increased by more than 70%, while the share of self-employed citizens (2.1 million people) decreased by 1.8 times to 24% (from 42 %), which is comparable with countries such as South Korea (25%) and Poland (21%).
The unemployment rate in Kazakhstan has halved from 10.4% to 4.9%, which is one of the lowest in the world - for comparison, in OECD countries, it is on average 5.5%.
The stable situation in the labor market has had a positive effect on the welfare of the population. At the same time, cardinal changes occurred in the structure of employment - the flow of workers into more productive sectors. The main “donor” of the labor force is the agriculture sector, the number of people employed in which, compared to 2010, has almost halved (for the second quarter of 2018, it is 1,236 thousand people). While more productive traditional industries, such as mining, transport, trade, and construction increased the number of employees by 16% or 411 thousand people.
At the same time, employment increased in relatively new industries: ICT - by 52%; tourism, which includes accommodation and food services - by 75% and entertainment and recreation services - by 56%. The number of people employed in the social sphere increased by more than a third (education - by 33.4%, health care - by 34.2%).
As a result, today a large part of the employed, 66% work in the service sector, 20% in industry and construction, and the remaining 14% are engaged in agriculture.
Another achievement was the reduction of the share of the informally employed population to 16%. Now, in terms of informal employment, Kazakhstan ranks in one row with such developed countries as Germany (16%), Austria (16%) and France (15%). This became possible thanks to the implementation of the Single Cumulative Payment. This is a tool through which an informal self-employed worker informs the state about his activities and on concessional terms simultaneously pays for the individual income tax and all pension and social payments.
In general, the measures of the state policy of Kazakhstan are reduced to three main areas: stimulating the creation and preservation of high-quality jobs, primarily in high-performance industries with higher incomes of employees; training and employment of skilled labor; in order to ensure the balance of workplaces and labor resources and support for the employment of citizens, a transformation of the state employment service is being carried out, and employment channels are being expanded through private employment agencies.
The International Labor Organization is a specialized UN agency for labor issues. It establishes international labor standards, promotes rights at work, promotes decent employment opportunities, strengthens social protection and promotes dialogue on the issues of the world of work. The unique structure of the ILO brings together governments and representatives of both employers and workers. The ILO has 187 member states. The ILO Secretariat has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and a global network of technicians and field workers in more than 40 countries.