As an unemployed graduate or expert, you wake up every day to meet yet a new job opportunity. Looking for a job can be nightmarish that goes on for years, yet one hopes that getting employment sooner would be a magnificent dream come true. This misfortune is dragging down many Namibians that are still waiting to get a rewarding job after completing their training.
As a graduate, family members that have supported your studies are expecting you to invest in your immediate and extended families, especially in an African family edifice. Further to that, the majority of Namibians that only afforded university tuition through institutional funding such as Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund study loans still owe the struggling organisation that awaits returns to re-invest in young matriculants. At the national level, graduates are expected to be hired or create their jobs, ultimately contributing to the national economic development goals.
There are various vital reasons graduates do not find employment. Like an economist who would argue that the government needs to protect the local businesses from foreign market players’ competition, such policies may also protect semiskilled, young professionals and in some cases local experts from foreign technocrats. The Immigration Control Act 7 of 1993 and amendments thereof fulfil that role in Namibia through the Immigration Selection Board and the mandates of the Chief Immigration Officer under Section 27 (2)(a;b). If it is often recommended that the unemployed should consider self-employment, why is this not the main discussion for this article?
The purpose of writing is similar to that of addressing the issue of foreign policies and protection of local markets from the international giants. Let us translate how this relates to remedies for competition for limited employment opportunities between Namibians and non-Namibian citizens. Can a Namibian emerge victorious after applying for a position that another foreign graduate may have applied for? It is obviously yes if justice is at play. Unfortunately, Namibia is seen as a place where one can just walk in and claim to be an expert. Non-Namibian trainees can acquire rudimentary jobs that are often advertised as advanced positions by making use of “good” and “advanced” English words and fugitive criteria to make it sound undoable by Namibians. I will explain later as I reflect on some job placements that sounded erratic on set requirements. While I opted to make use of those in the nature conservation industry, the illustrations also apply to all other sectors.
It is of utmost importance that if the home affairs visa processing department makes an in-depth analysis of such work placement scams, they may help the government to reduce the alarming multitudes of unemployment. The Namibian government always encourages foreign expertise investment and sharing of skills, but our responsible authorities need to do an in-depth analysis and investigate before awarding work permits. It will prevent possible possible fugitive applications and dubious use of locals in justifying the importance of foreign employees to unreasonably acquire work permits. We can be a foreign-friendly nation as foreigners provide necessary skills in technical positions, but it should be done in a manner that we do not sacrifice basic opportunities for qualified Namibians that hopelessly roam the streets.