More applicants failing public service job interviews – report

The number of job seekers who pass interviews for public service jobs is still significantly low compared to the number of applicants, a new report shows.
Habiyakare addresses journalists on the new Public Service Commission report in Kigali yesterday. (Nadege Imbabazi)
Habiyakare addresses journalists on the new Public Service Commission report in Kigali yesterday. (Nadege Imbabazi)

The number of job seekers who pass interviews for public service jobs is still significantly low compared to the number of applicants, a new report shows.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) report 2016/17 fiscal year says, of the over 40,000 candidates who sat job interviews during the reporting period, just 3,537 (8.8 per cent) passed.

Francois Habiyakare, the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, told journalists in Kigali yesterday that more than 1,616 job seekers (45.7 per cent) were recruited into jobs they applied for, while 1,921 people (54.3 per cent), who passed interviews were not recruited but put in a data bank.

Those put in a data bank, according to the labour law, can be given jobs in parallel institutions but, according to the Commission, implementation of this provision of the law is still a challenge.

The pass mark for public service jobs is 70 per cent.

The Commission received 156 reports from 90 public institutions.

Habiyakare said the low percentage might be attributed to the high pass mark, adding that the issue should, however, be looked into by the Ministry of Education to see if it’s not about quality of education.

“About nine per cent pass the interviews, we have to understand that it is not as in the classroom where pass mark is 50 per cent, the pass rate in public institutions is 70 per cent. We have not done any research but we believe the interviews are well prepared,” he said.

He said the law allows the second best candidate to get a job in institutions that offer a similar job.

However, he said, there is a challenge because few people in this category are transferred to such institutions. He said there was need for public institutions to put in more efforts to make this happen.

“Last year, only 21 people were transferred to parallel institutions because they had attained up to 70 per cent,” Habiyakare said.

He said a computerised system has been put in place to inform institutions of a list of people who passed interviews and who can get jobs without necessarily sitting for another interview.

During the reporting period, about 54,500 had applied for various positions but 26.5 per cent of them did not have required documents.

Other issues raised were that six districts had vacant positions despite the fact that there was a budget line for that, while three districts hired people but did not provide reports to the Commissions, which Habiyakare said affects the planning process.

Nine districts had no full dossiers and 50 per cent of 18 districts did not have enough dossiers, according to Habiyakare.

Up to 100 people, he said, complained of being denied jobs after passing interviews in different institutions.

About 455 employees appealed to the Commission over mismanagement.

Habiyakare hailed public institutions for embracing e-Recruitment, saying it has proven to be very effective.

The system was launched in May.

Rwanda’s unemployment rate stands at 16.7 per cent (as of February), according to latest figures from the National Institute Statistics of Rwanda. Youth unemployment stands at 21 per cent.

Over 90,000 Rwandans are said to complete tertiary education annually.

The public service employs close to 100,000.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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