IMF urges training boost to handle pandemic job shift

PARIS (AFP) – With certain sectors haemorrhaging jobs while others can’t find enough qualified workers due to the economic upheaval unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday urged Europe states to step up training programmes.

“The Covid-19 pandemic could result in a sizable reallocation of labour, especially among the low-skilled and young workers, as they are disproportionately employed in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic,” the IMF said.

The tourism sector, especially in southern Europe, has been hard hit by coronavirus lockdowns and has shed jobs by the tens of thousands.

Meanwhile, IT companies seen their businesses boom as locked down consumers shifted further to buying goods online, and can’t recruit enough trained workers.

The IMF said in a report focussing on Europe that training assistance should be directed at the most vulnerable workers and those having the least qualifications.

It should also be directed at smaller companies that traditionally have less resources to dedicate to training, the IMF added.

Incentives to companies could also help them to take the risk of employing newly qualified help.

The International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington DC. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG