HRDC Mauritius to boost specialized labour in jewellery; watch and diamond
Today, some 45 operators are involved in the production of high-end products for famous brands worldwide, and the jewellery, gems and watches sector now represents around 10% of the island’s total exports, contributing more than Rs 5 billion to GDP and employing more than 2,000 people directly. (Image: The Fashion Secrets)
Major changes in the jewellery, gems and watches sector have been registered during the past years, where the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) “has been vested with the responsibility to look after and promote the development of labour force in Mauritius, in line with the requirements of a fast growing economy.”
This was noted by HRDC Director Raj Auckloo, during a press conference held earlier this week on November 05, 2014, where he also highlighted that this sector has undergone major changes over the years and is now of growing importance to the Mauritian economy.
At inception, this sector consisted mainly of small-scale operators producing basic jewellery items for the local market, but today, some 45 operators are involved in the production of high-end products for famous brands worldwide.
As a result of this wide-spread growth, the HRDC will focus on innovative projects in micro-mechanics for the jewellery, watch and diamond sector, which has a wide scope for development.
“The main strengths of our jewellery industry are quality and craftsmanship. However, to encourage this sector to grow to its full potential, there is a need to upgrade existing skills in the sub sector,” said Aukloo.
On that score, the availability of qualified technicians is not only crucial for the growth of this sector but it is even more important to attract potential investments in Mauritius
It is one of the sectors that have been identified as having a wide scope for development. The jewellery, watch and diamond sector is composed mainly of fancy, silver, gold, precious stones and diamond manufacturers.
They produce several products ranging from fancy handmade chains, gold and platinum rings, watch dials, watch bracelets to swivels, spring rings, clasps and assembly of watch movements.
At present after textiles and apparel, and the seafood sector, the jewellery, watch and diamond exports is the third main source of foreign exchange for Mauritius.
It represents around 10% of the island’s total exports, contributing more than Rs 5 billion to GDP and employing more than 2,000 people directly.
The jewellery, watch and diamond exports registered an annual growth of 7.5% in 2013 over 2012 with an export turnover of Rs 4,776 million in 2012 growing to Rs 5,146 million in 2013.
HRDC has conducted in-house training sessions in some 8-10 medium-sized enterprises where training needs were assessed and skill enhancement was undertaken.
The training sessions were meant to upgrade the skills of the existing technicians and to assess any further specific training needs in terms of Micro-Mechanics.
Finally, besides on-the-job training, working sessions were also held at tertiary education institutions and MITD training centres for young students who are pursuing their studies in Micro-Mechanics and related fields.