Temporary Foreign Labour: A critical Success Factor for the Clothing and Textile industry in Mauritius

Author(s)

Alain Chan ,

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Volume 5 - September 2016 (09)

Abstract

One of the biggest challenges for the Clothing and Textile (C&T) industry in Mauritius is the shortage of labour that has prevailed over the past 10 years. In view of coping with the situation, many companies had recourse to Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) (also known as foreign workers) as one of the immediate short term solutions. Actually, the C&T industry in Mauritius is one of the biggest employers of TFW in Mauritius representing 40% of the total workforce of the Export Oriented Enterprises (EOE) and 50.8% of the C&T industry. This situation is getting worse as one side there have been an increasing trend of import of TFW over the years and on the other there has been an increasing trend of unemployment among local workers which was qualified as a “Paradox” by local authorities. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that TFW is a critical success factor for the C&T industry in Mauritius. The study also revealed that the C&T industry is already dependent and will be dependent on TFW for the next five years if the C&T companies want to maintain competitive advantage over our competitors. A mixed methodology used in this study has provided through the qualitative study the reasons for mismatch in the labour market where unemployment among local is becoming a major concern. This study also provides the base for future research in this field where no research work was conducted on the role and contribution of TFW in Mauritius. This provides to the stakeholders an insight of the labour market situation in the industry for future manpower planning. 

Keywords

Foreign labour, Temporary Foreign Workers, Labour market, Clothing and Textile industry, Mauritius, EPZ, Apparel industry, labour force, mismatch, labour shortage.

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