22 Aug 2017

Solomons needs to create 10,000 jobs a year - Chamber

7:09 pm on 22 August 2017

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling on the government and the private sector to focus on creating 10,000 jobs a year.

The bustling Port of Honiara nestled in the capital's CBD. 05 November 2013

The bustling Port of Honiara nestled in the capital's CBD. 05 November 2013 Photo: RAMSI gallery/Solomon Islands Govt

The chair of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling on the government and the private sector to focus on creating 10,000 jobs a year to keep up with a rapidly growing population.

Jay Bartlett said 70 percent of Solomon Islanders are under 30 and the country's main focus should be on creating jobs.

Growing at the current rate of 2.3 percent, the population of about 650,000 is forecast to double by 2050.

According to the World Bank, Solomon Islands had the world's highest unemployment rate at 31.4 percent in 2016.

Mr Bartlett this week signed a grant agreement with the Minstry of Women and Youth to establish a Young Entrepreneurs Council which he hoped will help young people turn innovative ideas into business opportunities.

"There is always a lot of discussion about nation building and peace but those conversations cannot happen in silo. We need to be talking about how do we create jobs for young people," said Jay Bartlett.

"Because investing in our future generations, for me, is investing in peace, is investing in stability, is investing in security and is investing in prosperity."

The Central Bank said only 26 percent of the population of more than 650 thousand people have bank accounts and less than 20 percent are registered taxpayers.

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