Employment in Mauritius – The Effect of Covid-19 on the Islan

What effect has Covid-19 had on the island of Mauritius, and how has this impacted the skills and employment in Mauritius?

Vanessa Flynn shares some interesting information and statistics around the matter. Human Capital is a major point of discussion, with the idea of matching suitable skills to suitable opportunities.


1. How is the employment sector doing in the current context?

“We saw the unemployment rate jump in July 2020 as a direct result of Covid-19 lockdowns, border closures and understandable nervousness in the market.  As per the central statistics office of Mauritius, unemployment rates in Mauritius in 2018 and 2019 were below 7%. This shot up to 12.20 percent in the second quarter of 2020 with a slight decrease to 10.90 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

As a recruiting firm we were directly impacted as 80% of our requisitions were either placed on hold or cancelled. Thankfully this was short-lived as were well-positioned to support our clients demand e-commerce, IT, finance and data science talent. We have more positions now than we did this time last year. Whilst we welcome the techceleration phase that we are experiencing we cannot help to feel concerned about the state of the hospitality, tourism and informal sectors in Mauritius. We’re seeing a steady growth in vacancies on career sites. Whilst we have seen unemployment rise so is the realisation of the skills shortages due to the increase in technical competence required in the field of IT and Data Science. Our clients are showing an openness to foreign talent, remote workers, and freelance contractors”.

2. How and why do companies invest in the right skills / human capital?

“Human capital is something that is not listed on a balance sheet and difficult to quantify. How does one quantify or place a value on an employees experience, knowledge and skills and even work ethic? When companies invest in their employees through training, development and benefits the result should result in increased engagement, productivity and retention of employees and thus skills within the business that directly impacts the bottom line.

The economic recovery of Mauritius places significant importance on companies investing in human capital. This can be done by attracting and recruiting the right calibre of talent. Job mismatch leads to increased cost, poor performance and dissatisfied customers. Ensuring effective performance management with regular feedback, fair reward mechanisms and development opportunities for employees to continuously learn and improve”.

3. What sectors are identified as takers and what about the available job offers / proposed salaries?

“Digital and Data operations are more important than ever, with many transformative changes accelerating over the past year. There is little opportunity to return to the old way of doing things. Thanks to changes that no one would have wished for and fuelled by the requirements of a digital society, the technology industry has taken a new shape.

This isn’t rebuilding to reclaim the past; this is rebuilding for the future. The roles range from developers, mobile application developers, testers, cybersecurity specialists, IT Trainers, data scientists, software engineers and architects. Salaries range from Rs30 000 up to Rs250 000 depending on the experience and skill level”.

4. What are your tips for companies that are in difficulty/advice for unemployed people who have been affected by this COVID-19 pandemic?

The first thing companies usually do in a crisis is stop recruiting and cancel investment in training and employee engagement events. This is the time of reinvention and companies should take a strategic look at the skills that they need to pivot from where they currently are to achieving their objectives.

It is a good time to turn a crisis into an opportunity for the unemployed by brushing up on their knowledge which ordinarily you struggle to find the time to do; attend free courses, online learning, re-do your cv, invest in career/interview coaching. Use this time to reflect on past successes and evaluate what your strengths are and how best you can use these to add value. Updating one’s Linkedin profile is essential and investing the time to network, setting up job alerts on online job portals and reaching out to recognized recruiting firms who are best placed to represent and support your career growth.

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