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PAY RESEARCH BUREAU (under the aegis of the Prime Minister's Office)
PAY RESEARCH BUREAU>Recruitment and Retention in the Public Sector

Recruitment and Retention in the Public Sector


4.1 A critical success factor for efficient and effective public service-delivery is based on the ability to recruit and retain staff of the right calibre with appropriate competencies and attitudes and to keep them motivated. Though recommendations were made to tackle recruitment and/or retention problems in previous reviews, some organisations still face specific skill shortages particularly when the job market is tight. In these areas, recruitment and retention problems will continue to become acute if not coherently addressed. This chapter provides an overview and contains our analysis of the current situation, highlights the critical issues and recommends the way forward.
4.2 In past Reports, we found out that the problems of scarcity and retention were mainly due to factors ranging from the unavailability of suitably qualified persons on the local labour market to the inadequacy of the pay package and other conditions of service compared to those obtaining for similar occupations elsewhere. To improve the situation, we had recommended in the 2003 PRB Report a series of recruitment and retention initiatives including better pay package and negotiable terms. Other major strategies included new employment practices, training schemes, organisational remedies like creation of trainee grades and stricter enforcement of bonds.
Survey on Recruitment and Retention Problems in the Public Sector
4.3 In June 2007, the Bureau carried out a fresh survey to assess the extent to which the measures, enunciated in 2003, have been effective in alleviating the problems and to take stock of the actual situation to enable the formulation of appropriate recommendations. Data were collected via a survey questionnaire which was sent to all Heads of Ministries/Departments, Parastatal and other Statutory Bodies, Local Authorities and the Rodrigues Regional Assembly. The information sought covered the last four financial years, from 2003-2004 to 2006-2007. During consultations with Management, the nature, size and causes of the recruitment and retention problems were also explored to have a shared understanding about how sizeable the problem is, where problems are most or least acute, or, fundamentally about why there is a problem in the first place.
Findings and Observations
4.4 We, hereunder, elaborate on the major findings revealed by the survey, explore the existing data on vacancies, identify the key pressure points, draw conclusions about the size and scale of the problems, and focus on the actions that organisations have taken to improve recruitment and retention. We deal, in the first instance, with the Civil Service where the phenomenon of scarcity may be more complex on account of the vast array of grades; and thereafter, with the Parastatal and other Statutory Bodies and Local Authorities as well as the Rodrigues Regional Assembly.
4.5 To screen the mass of information collected in respect of grades reported upon as scarce, we have, as a matter of policy, considered only entry grades requiring degree/professional or technical qualifications and having registered a vacancy rate of around 20% and above. We have equally reported on a few cases though not falling within this framework but which, for obvious reasons, require our attention. The major findings revealed are given in the ensuing tables. The tables give, inter alia, the establishment size of each grade reported upon and the vacancy rate as at 30 June 2007. Vacancy rate refers to the number of vacant posts as a percentage of established posts.
Table I - Vacancy Rate in Grades requiring Degree/Professional/Technical Qualifications in the Civil Service
Ministry/Department
Grade
Establishment Size as at
June 2007
Vacancy Rate (%) as at June 2007
Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping
(Public Infrastructure Division)
Architect
20
60.0
Quantity Surveyor
10
80.0
Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping
(Land Transport and Shipping Division)
Marine Engineering Surveyor
3
33.3
Nautical Surveyor
3
66.7
Ministry of Education and Human Resources
Education Officer (Marathi)
24
66.7
Education Officer (Telugu)
30
56.7
Education Officer (Tamil)
50
50.0
Education Officer
(Western Music)
29
86.2
Registrar-General’s Department
Attorney
2
100.0

 
Ministry/Department
Grade
Establishment Size as at
June 2007
Vacancy Rate (%) as at June 2007
Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (Valuation Department)
Government Valuer
19
31.6
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation (International Trade Division)
Controller, Industrial Property Office
1
100.0
Attorney General’s Office and Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
State Attorney
7
40.0
Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms
Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer
10
50.0
Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment
Occupational Safety and Health Inspector
37
27.0
Ministry of Health and
Quality of Life
Specialist/Senior Specialist
247
49.8
Bio-Medical Engineer
3
100.0
Clinical Psychologist
5
80.0
Midwife Educator
4
100.0
 

Table II – Vacancy Rate in Grades requiring Degree/Professional/Technical Qualifications in the Parastatal and other Statutory Bodies and the Local Authorities
Organisation/Department
Grade
Establishment Size as at
June 2007
Vacancy Rate (%) as at June 2007
Conservatoire de Musique Francois Mitterrand Trust Fund
Music Tutor
3
33.3
Mauritius Institute of Health
Training Officer
5
20.0
Mauritius Museum Council
Museum Educator
2
100.0
State Trading Corporation
Risk Management Officer
3
33.3
Wastewater Management Authority
Process Engineer
1
100.0
Project Manager
6
66.7
Municipal Council of Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill
Attorney
1
100.0
Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer
1
100.0
Municipal Council of Vacoas/Phoenix
Attorney
1
100.0
Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer
1
100.0
Black River District Council
Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer
1
100.0
Moka/Flacq District Council
Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer
1
100.0
 

4.6 The study provides further empirical evidence and explanatory details such as the trend over the last four financial years, recruitment attempts made, remedial measures taken, retention problems and the reasons for turnover. These are given in the Appendix to this Chapter.
Conclusions and Recommendations
4.7 The foregoing overview confirms that the market is tight or the package is insufficient compared to the private sector in areas such as Quantity Surveying, Marine Engineering, Architecture, Valuation, Law, and Occupational Health and Safety. Though the findings refer to the situation up to June 2007, it has been confirmed that on the whole the situation is very much the same today. It has also been reported during consultations that several areas where rapid development is taking place or where the market is global like the financial services, there is the likelihood of significant turnover if measures are not taken on time, e.g. it has been reported that several Accountants have left for Canada.
4.8 As a short-term solution to tackle the problem of scarcity, several organisations have, in line with the 2003 PRB Report recommendations, resorted to the employment of locals or expatriates through consultancy or on a contractual basis. In other instances, Management has had recourse to a series of ad hoc measures such as recruitment of retired officers to serve on a sessional basis, waiving of age limit, redrafting of schemes of service to facilitate recruitment, and setting up of training schemes whereby cadets/trainees have been recruited and sponsored to pursue further professional studies abroad.
4.9 Overall, the measures resorted to, so far, by public sector organisations to tackle recruitment and/or retention problems can be broadly classified under the following four categories, in line with the principles enunciated in the 2003 PRB Report.
Employment Practices
Ø Employment on contract or consultancy basis of locals and expatriates
Ø Employment on a sessional basis
Ø Employment on a month-to-month basis under delegated powers of the Public Service Commission
Ø Setting up of internal and external bank schemes of officers for employment on a sessional basis
Training Schemes
Ø Mounting of appropriate courses locally
Ø Setting up of training schemes for recruitment of cadets/trainees for local or overseas training
Organisational Remedies
Ø Assignment of duties to existing staff
Ø Restructuring existing schemes of service to widen scope of recruitment, e.g. consideration also given to candidates who lack part of the basic pre-professional qualification
Ø Insertion of first intake provision to give priority of consideration to officers who have been performing the duties of the grade
Ø Reduction in the duration of training period for trainee grades
Ø Waiving of age limit
Ø Assignment of duties to less qualified persons
Reward Strategies
Ø Grant of privilege of private practice as a joining-in inducement, subject to certain conditions and ministerial approval
Ø Improvement of career structures to enhance the scope of promotion
Ø Negotiable point of entry in salary scales
Ø Grant of enhanced fringe benefits
Ø Grant of allowances for performance of additional duties
Ø Introduction of special service allowances as a retention measure in certain sectors
4.10 Against such a background, we may conclude that the measures enunciated, in the 2003 PRB Report, to alleviate the problem of scarcity have, on the whole, been effective. The best responses show that recruitment and retention are issues that go to the heart of the way that organisations are managed and led. Matters have not been left unattended, but on the contrary, various types of initiatives have been taken to improve recruitment, to encourage workers to stay and to make the most of the skills and capacity of existing staff. Each initiative was prompted by a specific concern about either recruitment, retention or service delivery. In almost all scarcity areas, particularly where the problem was acute, prompt and repeated recruitment attempts have been made by the appropriate authorities. In certain fields traditionally reputed for being scarce, the situation has now been wholly or partly addressed. Vacancies have over the years been gradually filled to reach the required or optimum manning levels.
4.11 While recruitment and retention initiatives have yielded results in many instances, new demands in line with the dynamic economy and challenges in this new global village have made the market tight in other areas. Understandably, in spite of all recruitment efforts made, a few public sector organisations are still being faced with the phenomenon of scarcity in certain professional/technical fields like Quantity Surveying, Marine Engineering, Architecture, Valuation, Law, Occupational Health and Safety, Bio-Medical Engineering, Clinical Psychology and the different Medical Specialities.
4.12 To improve the situation, we are recommending, in this Report, appropriate reward strategies both in terms of career structure and earnings for those positions requiring skills in short supply, more particularly where the post holders need to possess a technical qualification or a specialist qualification. A special consideration has been given in instances where our past pay recommendations did not suffice. In several cases, depending upon the degree and extent of the problem additional recommendations have been made in the relevant literature under the appropriate sections. We are confident that the revised packages recommended should solve the problems of recruitment and retention in most areas. However, sustained effort in the fight against scarcity and retention should be maintained and management of public sector organisations should continue to stand guided by the ensuing recommendations which have, so far, proved to be effective tools to tackle the problems of recruitment and retention.
4.13 The remedy for problems in overall demand and supply of skills is inevitably long term. This does not mean that action can, or should, wait. Demand by the citizens and government for improved public services compels government and public sector organisations to take action to manage staff shortages quickly. In this context, focusing on problems which can be addressed in the short and medium terms is critical. Looking at why people join and leave the public sector helps to identify these problems and tells us what we must get right to recruit, retain and motivate staff. Recruitment is expensive; and earlier research has shown that, on average, new recruits perform at only 60 per cent of their productive potential when they are first appointed, reaching 100 per cent only after they have been in a post for a year.
Recommendation 1
4.14 We recommend that:
(i) Ministries/Departments/Organisations concerned by the problem of scarcity should, as has been the case after each major review, readvertise vacancies in the grades reported upon as scarce on the basis of the new remuneration package inclusive of fringe benefits; and
(ii) the notification of vacancies be redrafted to include, wherever appropriate, the various fringe benefits accruing to grades concerned, namely duty-free car, travel grant, allowances and passage benefits.

4.15 In addition to the foregoing recommendations, there is need, should the situation of scarcity or retention still persist, to look specifically at certain skills which require special attention in the short and medium terms and take remedial action.
Recommendation 2
4.16 We recommend that Ministries/Departments/Organisations should examine persistent cases of recruitment and retention problems; choose the best course of action enunciated in the light of the measures outlined at paragraph 4.9 and the options spelt out at Chapter 16 on “Employment on Contract and Alternative Modes of Employment” and submit their proposed course of action to the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms (MCSAR) for consideration and approval and proceed accordingly.
Recommendation 3
4.17 We again recommend that, as a temporary measure to tackle the problem of recruitment in highly critical areas, Ministries/Departments/
Organisations may, where other measures are not considered effective, propose a non-pensionable allowance or recruitment on a point of entry higher than the initial provided for in the recommended salary scale subject to the approval of the MCSAR.
4.18 We further recommend that the MCSAR may, subject to the concurrence of the High Powered Committee, continue to approve such non-pensionable allowance or such higher salary point for new entrants and adjustments in salary, as may be required, for officers in post.
Exit Interview
4.19 In several instances employees leave their organisations because their wants and needs are not being fulfilled. The reasons may include the following: incompatible corporate culture; unsatisfactory relationships with co-workers; lack of motivation; insufficient support to get tasks accomplished; inadequate opportunities for growth; job dissatisfaction in relation to compensation offered; job complexity; and employer/employee relationship.
4.20 Surprisingly, many public sector employers know little about why the staff are leaving their jobs. This is simply because none of the former public sector employers had had an exit interview. Employers are missing a key piece of the information that would help them to understand and improve the working conditions of their staff. If employers are to develop meaningful recruitment and retention initiatives they cannot afford to continue missing such valuable information.
4.21 It is, therefore, critical for employers to find out the reasons why people leave the Public Sector. The organisation needs to know how it can support the individual and where the job needs to be changed. An exit interview or exit questionnaire is a management tool that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of employment practices.
Recommendation 4
4.22 We recommend that the MCSAR should ensure that an exit interview is carried out to keep the service abreast of the reasons for staff turnover in areas where the market is tight as shown in Tables I and II and in the Appendix to formulate corrective actions and adopt the necessary measures enunciated at Paragraph 4.9.
Enforcement of Bonds
4.23 Training is an expensive operation and it represents a sizeable investment in the apprentice years during which the person learns more than contributes. To ensure that training undergone at public expense is not wasted, trainees recruited are, invariably, bonded by an amount equivalent to the full cost of the training expenses incurred on them.
4.24 In the context of this review, the Bureau has assessed the effectiveness of its 2003 recommendations regarding the enforcement of bonds with a view to further facilitating implementation and removing rigidities, if any, in the system. The Financial Secretary was asked to apprise the Bureau of any practical and administrative difficulties encountered in the enforcement of bonds; any improvement, deemed desirable, to the existing policy; and the views on the duration of the various bonded periods.
4.25 The Financial Secretary has, while concurring with the duration of the various bonded periods, reported the following: (a) too many cases are being referred to the Ministry for decision; (b) bonded officers are reluctant to refund the amount due in a lump sum and request for facilities to refund in instalments; (c) in several cases, the sureties are members of the same family and they claim that their total income is not sufficient to repay the bonded amount; and (d) the Terms and Conditions of Bonds, which are not clearly defined, should be reviewed to be more explicit and comprehensive.
4.26 In the light of the foregoing submissions, we have revisited the scheme to render it more effective and implementable.

Recommendation 5
4.27 We recommend that:
(a) All trainees recruited should, invariably, be bonded by an amount equivalent to the full cost of the training expenses incurred on them, and should serve for a minimum period of (i) three years if the course duration/traineeship is 12 months or less or (ii) five years if the course duration/traineeship is more than 12 months but up to 36 months or (iii) seven years if the course duration/traineeship exceeds 36 months. The bonded period should start as from the date of substantive appointment in the relevant grade. On satisfactory completion of the bonded period, every bonded officer in scarcity/critical area may be granted up to two additional increments, subject to the approval of the MCSAR.
(b) In case a Ministry/Department wishes to require an officer to serve that particular Ministry/Department at least during the bonded period, the bond must be so worded as to impose such an obligation upon the officer.
(c) In case of abandonment of training or vacation of office before the completion of the bonded period, bonds subscribed in such cases should be enforced in accordance with the following:
(i) Officers who leave the service to take up employment in the private sector before completing their bonded periods should be made to honour fully the obligations of their bonds within a period of 15 days from the date of abandonment of training or vacation of office.
(ii) Officers who obtain employment in either another Ministry/
Department or any organisation in the Public Sector should continue and complete their bonded period in their new employment, subject to the provisions of (b) above.
Recommendation 6
4.28 We further recommend that:
(i) the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) should, for consistency, standardise the lay out of the agreement and review the conditions contained in the bond to make them more explicit and comprehensive so that the parties concerned are aware of the various implications in case of breach of agreement;
(ii) Ministries/Departments should seek the views of the MOFED on the terms and conditions governing the bond and should ensure that the bonded officer produce a bank guarantee for the bonded amount and sureties produce evidence that they have the capacity to honour the bond in case of default;
(iii) to render the system more efficient and effective, Ministries/
Departments should, in the event of the breach of agreement, enforce bonds and allow bonded officers and sureties to refund the amount in instalments within a maximum period of two years in case of inability to pay in a lump sum; and
(iv) only exceptional cases e.g. where the organisation is satisfied that there may be good reasons for waiving of bonds in whole or in part should be referred to the MOFED.
Recommendation 7
4.29 We also recommend that, in the process of enforcing bonds, the MOFED may, in the interest of the Public Service, consider each case on its own merit, and refund of bonds can either be waived or enforced in toto or on a pro-rata basis.
 
 
 
 
************
 

Appendix
Results of Survey on Recruitment and Retention in the Public Sector
CIVIL SERVICE
Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping
Architect
The grade of Architect has registered a vacancy rate well above 20% during the last four financial years - 30% in 2003–2004 and 2004–2005 before reaching 50% in 2005–2006 and peaking with the figure of 60% as at 30 June 2007. Of the eight officers in post as at 30 June 2007, out of an establishment of 20, one officer resigned representing a turnover rate of 12.5%. The recruitment exercise carried out in March 2006 to fill 12 vacancies resulted in the recruitment of only two Architects. Action has, therefore, been taken to advertise the post on contract locally. To palliate the shortage, today five Architects are employed on a contract basis - two Indians and three Mauritians.
Quantity Surveyor
No marked improvement has been noted with regard to the recruitment and retention of Quantity Surveyors. The vacancy rate has continued its upward movement from 25% since the last Report to reach 80% in June 2007. Out of 10 posts on the establishment only two posts were filled. It has not been possible to fill all the vacancies advertised as there were no sufficient qualified candidates responding to the advertisements. Furthermore, one Quantity Surveyor resigned in financial year 2006–2007. In spite of the measures introduced in the 2003 PRB Report for a flexible remuneration system and reduction in the years of experience required for promotion within the cadre, the situation has not improved.
Marine Engineering Surveyor
Nautical Surveyor
The grade of Marine Engineering Surveyor has registered over three consecutive years a vacancy rate of 33.3%, i.e two posts filled out of an establishment of three. However, in financial year 2006–2007, the vacancy rate was of the order of 66.7%.
The three posts of Nautical Surveyor which were all filled in 2003–2004 and 2004–2005 have gradually, with the promotion of the officers in post, became practically vacant with only one officer in post.
Attempts made by the Public Service Commission in 2006 to fill the vacancies in the grades of Marine Engineering Surveyor and Nautical Surveyor have not been successful. With regard to the post of Marine Engineering Surveyor, the Public Service Commission received five applications but all the five candidates did not possess the required qualifications. With regard to the grade of Nautical Surveyor, the Public Service Commission informed the Ministry that no qualified candidates responded to the advertisement. Action has, therefore, been taken to advertise the vacant posts in the grades of Marine Engineering Surveyor and Nautical Surveyor in India.
Ministry of Education and Human Resources
Education Officer
Overall, the grade of Education Officer does not suffer from any major problem of recruitment and retention. However, there are certain areas, which are scarce. Subject wise, these are Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and Western Music. To alleviate this problem, in the short term, the Ministry is having recourse to supply teachers recruited from among HSC holders.
Registrar-General’s Department
Attorney
The two posts of Attorney on the establishment of the Registrar- General’s Department had remained vacant since 2003–2004 with a vacancy rate of 100%. To alleviate the situation, in the short term, Attorneys posted at the State Law Office are given an
ad hoc allowance to service the Registrar-General’s Department. The inconvenience is that they are not physically present at the office and they cannot cover the whole schedule required of an Attorney.
The Registrar-General’s Department has requested for Attorneys to be recruited by the State Law Office and posted to the Registrar-General’s Department as the services of these officers on a full-time basis will definitely help in the prompt recovery of arrears of revenue. However, the State Law Office itself is encountering difficulties to fill all vacancies on its establishment.
Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Government Valuer
The grade of Government Valuer, which was not reported upon as scarce in the 2003 PRB Report, has registered a vacancy rate of 31.6% as at 30 June 2007, six posts being vacant out of an establishment of 19. In financial year 2006-2007, two officers left the service for the private sector. It has not been possible to fill all the vacancies due to a shortage of suitably qualified candidates on the labour market.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation
International Trade Division
Controller, Industrial Property Office
The only post of Controller, Industrial Property Office has remained vacant during the last four financial years. Attempts made to fill the vacancy has not been successful and the Public Service Commission has informed the Ministry that no qualified candidates have applied for the post in response to the advertisement.
The Controller, Industrial Property Office is recruited from among candidates possessing a Cambridge Higher School Certificate together with a degree in either Law, Economics, Business Studies or a post graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property. The qualifications laid down in the existing scheme of service are being reviewed to reduce the post qualification experience required at managerial level from at least 10 years to at least five years.
Attorney-General’s Office, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
State Attorney
Overall, during the last four financial years, the grade of State Attorney has registered a vacancy rate of 40%, i.e only four posts filled on an establishment of seven. One State Attorney left the State Law Office in financial year2003-2004 for emigration and two left in financial year 2004-2005 – one emigrated and the other joined the private sector. It has not been possible to fill all the vacancies on account of the poor response received to public advertisements. In May 2005 and April 2007, three Attorneys were required but only one Attorney was recruited each time.
State Counsel
Since the publication of the 2003 PRB Report the post of State Counsel was advertised on three occasions and 20 appointments have been made so far. The majority of the new recruits at the time of appointment reckoned about one year standing at the Bar. Today, all the 36 posts on the establishment are filled and this has been the trend during the past four financial years.
However, it has been reported that the problem of retention of experienced State Counsels at the Attorney-General’s Office is still very much alive. Since the last Report, there has been an exodus of talent – two Senior State Counsels have resigned : one has taken employment abroad and the other in the wider public sector where the prospects of remuneration are manifestly higher; two State Counsels who were to be promoted have also resigned to take up employment elsewhere – one in the private sector and the other in the wider public sector; four State Counsels who have spent at least three years at the Attorney-General’s Office have resigned to take up employment in the wider public sector and abroad; and six State Counsels have joined the Magistracy.
For the year 2007 alone, the Attorney-General’s Office has registered an exodus of five officers, and this in spite of the retention mechanism put in place. It has been argued that State Counsels with some years of service at the Attorney-General’s Office become very marketable outside in view of the wealth of experience acquired.

Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms
Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer
The grade of Safety and Health Officer was created in the financial year 2005-2006 and out of 10 posts on the establishment of the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms only two posts were filled. In the financial year 2006-2007, another three posts were filled, while one officer reverted to his substantive post of Health Inspector. It has not been possible to fill all the vacancies advertised since there were no candidates holding the Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety responding to the advertisement. It has been argued that the remuneration packages offered to Safety and Health Officers in the private sector, are far, more attractive than in the public sector.
As a temporary measure to remedy the situation, three Clerical Officer/Higher Clerical Officers who are following the Occupational Safety and Health course have been posted to the Unit to assist the Safety and Health Officers.
In accordance with Section 30(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 2005, the Civil Service with a workforce of 52,300 will require the services of some 26 Safety and Health Officers to ensure compliance with law.
Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment
Occupational Safety and Health Inspector
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has reported having similar problems as the MCSAR with the grade of Occupational Safety and Health Inspector. As at June 2007, the vacancy rate is of the order of 27% with 27 officers in post on an establishment of 37. However, of the 27 officers in posts, five have left for the private sector. To palliate the shortage, the Ministry, through delegation of powers from the Public Service Commission, has resorted to recruitment of 10 Inspectors on contract basis.
Ministry of Health and Quality of Life
The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has reported encountering difficulties to recruit suitable candidates for the grades of Specialist/Senior Specialist, Bio-Medical Engineer, Clinical Psychologist and Midwife Educator.
Specialist/Senior Specialist
Overall, the grade of Specialist/Senior Specialist has registered a vacancy rate of around 50%, 123 posts being vacant out of an establishment of 247 as at 30 June 2007. Difficulties have been encountered to fill vacancies in the grade of Specialist/Senior Specialist in practically all the disciplines, namely General Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Orthopaedics, Anaesthesia, Radiology, Pathology, Radiotherapy, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, ENT, Dermatology, T.B. and Chest Diseases, Cardiology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Physical Medicine, Neurosurgery and Endocrinology. The vacancy rate ranges from 27.2% to 100.0%. One Specialist/Senior Specialist (Paediatrics) out of 13 officers in post, one Specialist/Senior Specialist (Radiology) out of 10 officers in post and the only Specialist/Senior Specialist (Physical Medicine) in post resigned from the service during the financial year 2006-2007.
To palliate the shortage, the Ministry is having recourse to the following measures: (i) employment on contract basis/sessional basis of retired specialists as well as foreigners; (ii) Medical and Health Officers sponsored to follow specialist courses with the collaboration of the Mauritius Institute of Health and the University of Bordeaux; and (iii) other Medical and Health Officers granted scholarship to follow courses in India and China.
Bio-Medical Engineer
This is still a chronic scarcity area as the two posts on the establishment of the Ministry have remained vacant for several years due to lack of suitably qualified local candidates. In 2006-2007, the establishment size was increased from two to three and as at 30 June 2007 two officers (one Mauritian and one Indian) were employed on contract. However, the Indian Bio-Medical Engineer resigned in December 2007.
Clinical Psychologist
At 30 June 2007 the grade of Clinical Psychologist registered a vacancy rate of 80%, only one post being filled out of an establishment of five. The scheme of service of the grade has been reviewed in the light of recommendation contained in the 2003 PRB Report with the qualifications restructured to require the incumbent to possess a specialized post graduate degree in Clinical Psychology together with specialisation in the field of Applied Clinical Psychology. The scheme of service was prescribed on 8 November 2007 and the Public Service Commission has been requested to advertise the post.
Midwife Educator
All the four posts of Midwife Educator were vacant as at 30 June 2007 and this has been the trend for the last four financial years. To remedy the situation in the short term, the Ministry is having recourse to employment of retired Midwife Educators on sessional/contract basis. For the long term, foreign authorities have been approached to provide appropriate training to serving Nursing Officers.
Rodrigues Regional Assembly
The Rodrigues Administration has reported recruitment and retention problems in respect of the following grades: Reporter, Arts Officer, Citizen’s Advice Bureau Organiser, Director of Finance, Economist, Project Manager, Systems Analyst, Tourism Enforcement Officer, Tourism Planner, Library Officer, Sports Officer, Engineers in the field of Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Architect, Quantity Surveyor, Technical Officer (Mechanical), Bio-Medical Technician, Hospital Administrator and Veterinary Officer. To remedy the situation, various ad hoc measures have been taken – contract employment, schemes of service of certain grades amended, vacancies re-advertised, Mauritian officers posted on a tour of service, trainee grades created and Rodriguan candidates sponsored to follow appropriate courses.
PARASTATAL AND OTHER STATUTORY BODIES
AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Conservatoire de Musique François Mitterand Trust Fund
Music Tutor
The grade of Music Tutor has registered a vacancy rate of 33.3% since 2004-2005 and music is still a scarcity area. However, the situation would gradually improve as the Conservatoire de Musique François Mitterand Trust Fund in collaboration with the Mauritius Institute of Education has started a Diploma Course in Music Teaching, which would service schools and the Conservatoire. The Conservatoire de Musique François Mitterand Trust Fund is also running degree courses for students taking Distance Education from UNISA and, at present, two students are enrolled for the courses.
It has been argued that most Music Teachers prefer to do multiple jobs – part-time in the afternoon at the Conservatoire, supply teachers during school hours, and hotel performance at night. It has also been suggested that, to improve the situation in the long term, there is need to improve the structure at the Conservatoire to offer better scope for promotion.
Mauritius Institute of Health
Training Officer
The grade of Training Officer has registered a vacancy rate of 20%. Out of the five established posts, one post has remained vacant from 2004-2005 to date. Recruitment is made from among candidates possessing a Medical Degree and having proven teaching experience in the field of health. In 2003-2004, the selected candidate declined the offer and in March 2005 there were no qualified candidates who applied for the post in response to the advertisement.
Mauritius Museum Council
Museum Educator
The grade of Museum Educator, which requires a Degree in either Biological Sciences, Zoology, Botany, Geology, Geography, Mauritian Studies, Museum Studies, History or Cultural Studies and a post-graduate qualification in Education or Museum Studies, has remained vacant so far as there is a shortage of candidates with the required profile. The only officer recruited in financial year 2004-2005 on an establishment of two left the organisation in financial year 2005-2006 for emigration purposes. Attempt made in June 2006 to fill one post has not been successful as no suitable qualified candidates responded to the advertisement. The Mauritius Museum Council is in the process of amending the scheme of service to widen the field of recruitment.
State Trading Corporation
Risk Management Officer
During the last two financial years, the grade of Risk Management Officer at the State Trading Corporation (STC) has registered a vacancy rate of 33.3%, one post being vacant out of three. The post was filled each time it was advertised but the officer left the organisation either to join the wider public sector or the private sector. They joined the organisation and left after having acquired experience in the field. The Management of the STC regarded the initial salary of Rs 16000 in the scale of
Rs 16000 – 30000 as being insufficient to retain the officers.
Wastewater Management Authority
Process Engineer
The one post of Process Engineer has remained vacant since 2003-2004 due to the unavailability of suitably qualified candidates locally or from India. So as to alleviate the problem of recruitment, the Authority has proposed to train its personnel in process engineering in-house by having recourse to foreign Process Engineers.
Project Manager
The grade of Project Manager has registered a vacancy rate of 66.7% since 2004-2005. Out of six established posts, only two are filled. To remedy the situation, overseas recruitment exercises were carried out in India, South Africa and United Kingdom. In India, no candidate was found suitable and in South Africa and the United Kingdom, there was no response to public advertisement. To resolve the problem, the Wastewater Management Authority is having recourse to assignment of duties of Project Manager to Senior and Principal Engineers of the organisation.
Local Authorities
Attorney
Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer
In the Local Authorities, both the grades of Attorney and Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer have generally registered a vacancy rate of 100% during the past four financial years. In spite of repeated attempts, the Local Authorities have not been able to fill the posts of Attorney and Safety and Health Officer/Senior Safety and Health Officer. In order to alleviate the problem of recruitment, the Local Authorities have proposed to hire the services of an Attorney and a Safety and Health Officer on a part-time or contractual basis.

Supplementary Findings

Technical Officer and Assistant Inspector of Works

The survey has also revealed that for grades requiring a diploma or part thereof, e.g. Technical Officer, Assistant Inspector of Works, a high turnover rate is noted on account of the oversupply of overqualified candidates on the labour market. This is mainly attributed to the policy of recruiting the best qualified candidates, thus causing an artificial scarcity in these areas. On account of the current labour market conditions, these posts normally attract a large number of overqualified candidates ranging from degree holders to those possessing post graduate qualifications. The overqualified staff normally tend to leave after only a short period for better opportunity elsewhere.
On the other hand, certain organisations have reported encountering difficulties to fill vacancies in the grade of Assistant Inspector of Works as candidates with the required qualifications, i.e. the Cambridge School Certificate with credit in five subjects and the Ordinary Technician Diploma in Building and Civil Engineering or Brevet de Technician are no longer available on the market.
Clerical Officer/Higher Clerical Officer
The MCSAR has reported retention problem in the grade of Clerical Officer/Higher Clerical Officer. During the period 2003-2004 to 2006-2007, the grade has registered a turnover rate ranging from 9% to 12%. One of the main reasons for the high turnover rate is that it is a source grade for recruitment to other posts in the Civil Service, e.g. Employment Officer, Companies Officer, Statistical Officer, etc. It is suggested that these grades be no longer restricted to incumbents in the grade of Clerical Officer/
Higher Clerical Officers.
Nursing Officer
At 30 June 2007, 2193 posts of Nursing Officer out of an establishment of 2439, were filled; and financial provision has been made for the enlistment of 150 Student Nurses in March 2008. Thirty six Nursing Officers resigned from the service in 2003-2004, 42 in 2004-2005, 20 in 2005-2006 and eight in 2006-2007. To tackle the problem of turnover, the Ministry is resorting to the payment of a retention allowance to Nursing Officers.