REMEDYING THE ISSUE OF UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG SCHOOL LEAVERS

 

Remedying the issue of unemployment among school leavers.

From all indication, the nation’s most pressing problem is the high rate of unemployment among school leavers. Caught in the web of this problem are students from both secondary and tertiary institutions. The consolation is that, like other problems, there are solutions to it. To remedy the high unemployment rate among school leavers, I thought and came out with the following:

Remedying the issue of unemployment among school leavers.

First of all, there is an urgent need to shift from the liberal subjects to technical, vocational or professional courses. Difficult as it is to find employment in the country, students with technical or professional qualifications have been remarkably better off than their colleagues who studied the liberal arts. To support this shift, governments must prioritize the establishment of more technical and vocational schools and award scholarships to brilliant but needy students. The few technical schools should be equipped and upgraded into polytechnic institutions which will then train the youth and school leavers for gainful employment.

Another suggestion worth considering is the need to offer soft loans to school leavers. This can be done without serious insistence on collateral security. Capital will then be put in the hands of school leavers ready to undertake profitable ventures. People call for a return to the villages to take up farming but the issue is not that simple. Agricultural projects ought to be financed and it makes no sense to expect school leavers to launch into farming without financial assistance. So the availability of capital will push school leavers into viable sectors of the economy. Moreover, since land is readily available in many communities for farming, government can give the needed push by subsidising farming inputs. Thus, making agricultural projects less costly, school leavers will be encouraged to take up farming. If the government is not paying unemployment benefits as is done elsewhere, subsidising farming inputs will be an alternative worth adopting. What is more, increased agricultural production will help feed agro-based industries which will in turn create employment opportunities, reducing unemployment.

Furthermore, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of tertiary institutions should prioritize high on their agenda the organization of career fairs to expose students to the job industry. This will aid them the opportunity to interact with the various corporate organisations and know the various employment or job opportunities in the industry tailored according to their abilities and potentials.

In addition, to remedy the high rate of unemployment among school leavers, I recommend rural electrification. Connecting towns and villages to the national grid will promote the establishment of rural industries. This will give school leavers the chance of setting up cottage industries or seeking employment avenues there.

Also, our educational system needs some adjustments in the sense that we should move away from the three R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) and concentrate on a system that tends to give our students some form of practical knowledge and experience. Our second–cycle and universities should be the focus of this structural adjustment. Students should be encouraged to engage in volunteer work during long vacations in other to practice what they study in school and gather the necessary experience and skill needed to make them employable. This is the act of offering one’s service for free in exchange for the acquisition of practical experiences helping reduce unemployment rates around the world.

Governments’ should extend financial support to young men and women who have the dream of becoming entrepreneurs through owning their own businesses. Individuals who have elaborate business plans and proposals should be given the necessary assistance to start up their own venture which also creates the opportunity for others to be employed or create employment opportunities for school leavers.   

Methods of accumulation and dissemination of information on available jobs and workers could be improved. In Sweden, job centres have a nationwide integrated database of jobs, employers and available employees. This type of database could reduce the time spent by an average person being unemployed and thus reduce the unemployment rate.

Local artisans, crafts men and women in the act of sewing, basketry, masonry, carpentry, sculpturing and blacksmithing should be encouraged and supported. These individuals form the base of the nation’s local manufacturing hub which will intend unearth and develop the potential in other young men and women who are talented and have the desire to venture into these fields hence reducing the high unemployment rates across the globe.

Massive investments be made in the music and arts industry by governments’, making it lucrative for young talents to harness their full potential hence creating employment opportunities.

Investments also be made to the sporting community be it boxing, lawn tennis, table tennis, hockey, football, cycling and others. This should also be channelled to the unearthing of talents desirous of venturing into any of the disciplines and developing them giving them the platform to fulfil their call in life.

Governments’ should put measures in place which will ensure that investors who come to invest in the country offer employment opportunities to the citizens of that country who qualify for respective jobs. Many at times, investors come along with their employees from their respective nations to work at their firms to the detriment of the citizens of the host country which does not help solve the issue of unemployment among school leavers.

Much emphasis should be placed on ICT study and training as it is now bringing the world to us and us to the world. The acquisition of technological training and knowledge will go a long way to create employment opportunities and reduce unemployment among school leavers.

And finally, sensitisation programmes should be organised to encourage individuals to venture into emerging sectors in the economy such as oil and gas and the new digital age (ICT). This will give them the opportunity to undergo training and make them employable which help clamp down on unemployment.  

From the foregoing, it can be inferred that despite the enormity of the problem of unemployment among school leavers, there are always ways to remedy the situation. It is my fervent hope that these suggestions being given on a daily basis by scores of people and not only my good self be given serious attention and consideration by government. Your comments and views are welcome in the comment section below. And for further consultation or questions, please email to hrforumonline@gmail.com. 

Also Read: MAKING FRUITFUL CAREER CHOICES

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