ROSH PINAH - Women’s Action for Development (WAD) executive director Salatiel Shinedima has urged Namibians to support local businesses, especially those run by young people, to help reduce high unemployment among the youth.
Shinedima made the remarks during the WAD graduation ceremony that took place in Rosh Pinah in //Kharas Region on Monday morning.
For the past months, WAD has provided free training to the 181 students who registered for training in the courses such as basics of computers, hospitality and tourism, needlework and tailoring, aspects of the Namibian Constitution, human rights and on gender-related laws, gender-based violence, and substance abuse.
Shinedima explained people should shed the imbedded prejudice that local products will always be inferior, whereas foreign is usually regarded as worthy.
“We should be willing to invest financially for the upgrading of the skills and knowledge levels of local people, particularly youth with low levels of education; we should accommodate initial teething problems with regard to supply, and assist to iron out such problems,” declared Shinedima. He said the employment market is over saturated, with very few jobs available in the market – and that even university graduates are not spared by the unemployment phenomenon.
“The reality is that majority of our unemployed youth consist of those with low levels of education. These are youth who do not possess the necessary education and experience to qualify for employment in the labour market,” he remarked.
“Due to their inexperience and lack of skills, employers are reluctant to employ them because it will require them to spend money and time to train these unskilled youth. If you look at employment opportunities advertised in newspapers and other employment bureau, you will find that a majority of employers are looking for people with qualification plus not less than two or three years of experience,” he expressed.
The executive director conveyed it is discouraging to see active young men and women trapped in a vicious cycle of the saturated labour market, where job opportunities are recycled amongst the qualified and experienced.
He added that young men and women who lack the experience and qualifications needed to fill a job opening are often side lined, due to their lack of experience and education.
“This prolongs their job-search periods, leading to gaps in employment history, loss of skills and productivity, and could damage their prospects to find work in the future.”
“These youth without skill and qualification are likely to remain unemployed for a long time. They are likely to become the ticking time bomb of an uprising, which may destabilise the peace and stability we currently enjoy in our beautiful country,” he established.