Speech of Mr. Antonius Broek at Inauguration of the Sumgayit Syslab Center

Sep 13, 2013

H.E. Mr. Broek while delivering speech at SYSLAB's Sumgayit Center

Dear representative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection!

Dear Representatives of Norwegian Embassy and Syslab Norway!

Distinguished guests, Excellencies, Colleagues of the UN!

Xanımlar və cənablar!

I am  very pleased to speak today on this occasion of opening the Sumgayit Syslab Center,  this is indeed an important event.

Azerbaijan has made a significant progress in  reducing poverty and enhancing employment. It is good to mention that since 2003 to 2012,  poverty has been reduced from 44.7% to 6%, and  unemployment from 9.2% to 5.2%.  

Today we are here to inaugurate the opening of Sumgayit Syslab Center which we are convinced will contribute to decreasing unemployment in Azerbaijan. Very often the unemployed fail to find a job despite spending a lot of energy and time,  while often potential job could be available. The lack of job hunting skills, inability to target vacancies fitting to their skills and aspirations, inability to present themselves and communicate in the way that may be liked by potential employers results in frustration, disappointment, loss of confidence and finally, in abandoning the search for work. Interestingly, at the same time some potential employers also complain about inability to find employees fitting to their criteria and needs. One of the reasons may be that universities often still focus too much on abstract knowledge and theory, whereas potential employers are looking for people with more practical skills. Syslab methodology, developed by the specialist of Syslab Norway helps overcoming these issues and satisfying the needs of both employers and employees. I am sure the Syslab representative will give more details about their methodology.

We already achieved good results in the SYSLAB center earlier created in Baku. Local specialists were trained in Norway and Azerbaijan and necessary adjustments to the methodology were made. Three groups of unemployed people, mostly young people, have passed through the training at Baku Syslab Center and I am pleased to inform you that close to 90% of those have found a job. I am very pleased to mention that the Head of ASAN Service in Sumgayit is a Syslab graduate.

I would like to use this opportunity  to thank the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population. These successes could not have been possible without their active involvement and support. I also like to express my thanks to the Government of Norway,  represented here by the Deputy of Norway Mission to Azerbaijan Mr. Marko Soldich for the generous contribution of Norway to this important project. Let me emphasize, that money is just one thing and the knowledge and expertise shared by Norwegian specialists is no less important.   

Finally, let me mention that although, significant work has been done, there are still important steps to be made. Among them, the opening of a similar Syslab Center in Ganja coming year, the second largest city in the country. The networking, dialogue and experience-sharing among the three Syslab Centers will add a new dynamic and enhance sustainability of the project after the donor funding ends. Ultimately, it would be best if a partnership between Government and private sector companies could take over the funding and expand the Syslab approach also to other cities and regions.     

Ladies and gentlemen, let me stop here.

Many thanks for your kind attention!

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