Govt must tackle unemployment


HARARE – Recent reports on the increase of the number of unemployed youths is cause for concern and government should act quickly to rectify the situation and create more jobs.

University and tertiary college graduates are increasingly taking up menial jobs, amid a sharp rise in the number of students graduating without any hope of securing employment.

Zanu PF must make good the promise of jobs made in its campaign manifesto.

The high rate of unemployment raises fears of an upsurge in crime and prostitution.

Some highly-qualified young people are routinely taking on “low-skilled” roles to fill gaps in the workforce.

The number of ex-students in “non-graduate” jobs such as shelf stackers, kombi drivers and vendors is soaring, raising fears of another economic downturn, a sad reminder of 2008.

A survey carried out and reported by our sister paper last week shows the majority of students are without work, years after graduating, making employment prospects for newly-capped youths dim.

The employment reality has forced most graduates to turn to basic menial jobs, which is clearly a counter-productive scenario.

At least 30 000 graduates are churned out from universities and tertiary colleges every year, but most of them fail to secure employment due to the declining job opportunities in the formal job market, a situation that has constantly recurred over the past 10 years.

This year alone, President Robert Mugabe, who is the Chancellor of all State universities, capped
2 860 graduates at the University of Zimbabwe, 566 at Bindura State University, 2001 at National University of Science and Technology, 1 343 at the Great Zimbabwe University and 1 245 at Chinhoyi University of Technology.

Nearly 4 000 are expected to graduate from the Midlands State University, further flooding an already clogged market.

After resoundingly stomping to victory in the July 31 elections, we believe Zanu PF will deliver on its promises to the people, by ensuring that more employment opportunities are created, through their indigenisation policy.

The government should use the policy to cement growth and bring hope to thousands of graduates, who are spending years on the streets looking for jobs.

However, with reports that most companies are down-sizing, while some are closing, citing an unfriendly economic climate, the government should come up with other means ways that can help ease the employment crisis before the situation goes out of hand.

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