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Jobless crisis must enjoy priority - MP

2022-06-22  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Jobless crisis must enjoy priority - MP

New Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Maximalliant Katjimune says government should prioritise employment creation, particularly for the country’s young people. 

Youth unemployment, Katjimune said, “is the single most pressing existential catastrophe of our time”.

“The youth unemployment crisis in Namibia must become the number one priority area for government moving forward,” Katjimune told fellow members of parliament in his maiden speech in the National Assembly yesterday.

Describing youth unemployment as a crisis, Katjimune said the facts around joblessness in Namibia show a tremendous failure

“It has become glaringly clear that apart from the endless rhetoric, the conferences and the policy interventions from different stakeholders in government, this government does not actually have any political will nor a comprehensive and clear ideological and practical solution to the question of youth unemployment in this country,” Katjimune said.

He was contributing to a motion tabled by fellow MP Inna Hengari in the National Assembly late last year that seeks to discuss and debate youth unemployment, estimated to reach a staggering 50.3% or more than 270 000 unemployed young people by the end of last year.

Katjimune stated that he, along with over 8 000 other graduates from the country’s institutions, graduated in May and June this year and that their futures look gloomy.

“The overwhelming majority of these graduates are young people, who have now joined the unemployment statistics, and now form unemployed young people in the country,” he said.

According to Katjimune, the significant majority of these young graduates will inevitably be subjected to an endless cycle of securing government and private sector internship opportunities that pay peanuts and are exploitative, with no assurance that they will eventually land a permanent job from these internships.

“It is imperative to debunk the notion that internships reduce graduate unemployment, in particular, and youth unemployment, in general, on any scale,” he said.

“Yes, internships are a necessary intervention in terms of transferring knowledge and skills in industries, but the notion adopted by the government that they are a fundamental factor in reducing youth unemployment is a fallacy.”

He said internships are a direct result of youth unemployment and a temporary solution to a clear crisis.

Katjimune recommended that government look at interventions implemented by Singapore, which has a youth unemployment rate of 7.3%.

“The youth unemployment rate in Singapore is low because the Singaporean government, unlike the Namibian government, takes decisive and clear interventions in terms of the question of youth unemployment,” he said.

“Singapore has numerous initiatives that are earmarked at providing up-to-date information regarding the job market as it evolves for young people. The country rolled out a massive project in 2012, called Max Talent, which is run under the Association of Small and Medium Enterprise and acts as a conveyer belt in comprehensively training young people and affording them all the necessary skills in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development.”


2022-06-22  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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