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Youth Employment Is Crucial

Aug 31, 2009, 6:28 AM

The issue of employment, especially among young people is very critical.

The move by the Youth Employment Network YEN- Gambia Chapter to play a lead role in advocating youth employment is indeed commendable.

We must commend YEN and all other organisations that champion the cause of youths, especially with regards to employment.

It is indisputable fact that when young people are not employed this can compel them to so many puzzles.

Problems associated with unemployment are many, including increase in crime rate, drug abuse, frustration, dependency, migration, just to name but a few.

When the youthful populations are provided with gainful employments, all the aforementioned problems would be surely addressed.

If people are provided with jobs this can make them live a decent and productive lifestyle. Thus, there is a need to intensify efforts in creating employment for the youths.

We acknowledge the numerous efforts being undertaking by the government in addressing unemployment and related problems. Such initiatives include the creation of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), President's International Awards Scheme and National Enterprise Development Initiative in creating employment opportunities for youths, and also making them more employable.

Nonetheless, more needs to be done to address all the social problems associated with it. Though it might sound difficult, but creating more industries will also boost-up employment.

The need to further strengthen the NYSS and other existing initiative is fundamental.

Agriculture is another sector that can help the country addresses its employment challenges.

The Ministry of Agriculture should work with the Youth and Sports Ministry, to create youth farms across the country. The two ministries should manage these farms and pay the participating youths from the produce of the farms.

It's now increasingly clear that not everyone can have so-called white coloured jobs. Therefore, initiatives such as youth farms can greatly help in reducing this burden.

Private sector should also help create more employment opportunities for young people.

Underemployment is another problem that needs priority attention.

Considering the current global financial crisis, employees should consider increasing the wages of their workers.

Can you imagine somebody being paid D1000 a month? If he or she spends D850 on a bag of rice, how can such a person meet the cost of daily rations, house rent, medical bills, children school fees, you name it? Such a person is indeed employed, but at the same time being under-employed.

We are not saying that they should be given fat salaries, but the above mentioned factors must be put into consideration in drawing up the pay scale.

Remember the more you pay your staff, the more they are better off to perform. This may also reduce corruption.

 The need to conduct research in order to have a data on employment will be very useful.