An education system that does not respond to labor market demands, poor coordination of the institutional framework and historical structural weaknesses in the economy are among the issues that contribute to high youth unemployment in the country.
For this, the government was advised to provide free technical and vocational training (TVET) and establish more technical education institutions to develop the technical skills base for youth self-employability.
“The government should provide financial support to students after graduating from TVET colleges in the form of free or subsidized toolkits, credits and any other targeted means to start individually or in groups as cooperatives of young people,” a targeted review report on youth unemployment in Namibia by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), officially launched by Vice President Nangolo Mbumba at the State House yesterday, revealed.
The government currently only provides free primary and secondary education.
To reduce the high youth unemployment in the country, the government has been advised to put in place legislation on local procurement and content, with provisions for 30% of procurement quotas reserved for micro, small and medium youth. government enterprises.
“The government should review the current green scheme and the small farmer scheme which have not been successfully administered – and based on the results, develop an appropriate plan to implement for job creation for the youth” , says the report.
The report recommends a structural transformation of the economy and the implementation of comprehensive measures to tackle youth unemployment within an overall development framework in which the state plays a direct role.
One of the most specific and immediate targeted interventions that the government is asked to undertake is to create a coordination and implementation unit for the youth program under the presidency.
“Such a unit should have the appropriate convening power, political authority and gravitas under the presidency to consolidate funding across government departments and agencies,” the report recommends.
It further recommends that the unit develop an information system and database that will provide information on the composition and specificities of youth segments and groups in the country at national, regional, urban and rural levels.
It also recommended communicating government information on existing youth initiatives and programs on existing youth initiatives and programs, shared on appropriate platforms at national and regional levels in a transparent and accountable manner.
Another serious recommendation was to reform the education system by revising the curriculum of technical and entrepreneurial subjects to be offered in all education systems.
“…to create specialized schools that will do talent scouting, coaching, mentoring and training in creative, artistic and sporting fields as a pathway for young people who are not academically gifted,” says The report.
The report further advises the government to review binding legislation based on targeted tax incentives for the private sector to collaborate on strong internships modeled on the Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) Internship Program to scale up mentorship. for preparation for employment in the labor market. .
It was further recommended that the government should reward young innovators who come up with agricultural solutions based on information and communication technologies with targeted funding to attract them into the agricultural sector, thereby creating jobs.
The government estimates that more than 67,000 graduates are unemployed in the country.
At the launch of the report, Mbumba indicated that the report’s recommendation that an appropriate institutional framework is established will properly coordinate, monitor and evaluate all employment initiatives – with a focus on youth.
He added that the Cabinet has tasked the National Planning Commission (NPC) to spearhead the integration of the National Action Plan on Youth Employment into National Development Plans and Strategies for operationalization by the Ministry of Youth, while the Ministry of International Relations will be responsible for popularizing it across the continent.
“It cannot be overemphasized that the growth potential of Namibia and the continent can only be unleashed through the inclusion of young people in policy-making and economic recovery efforts,” Mbumba said.
Young parliamentarians who attended the launch applauded the report, saying youth unemployment is a national problem that requires the involvement of public and private sector partnerships as well as civil society.
Inna Hengari of the People’s Democratic Movement, who recently tabled a motion in the National Assembly in September to discuss the dilemma of youth unemployment in Namibia as well as its short, medium and long term ramifications, applauded the report, saying that youth unemployment is a national problem. which requires more effort from all stakeholders.
Swapo’s Patience Masua said the report comes at an opportune time as the government shifts into high gear to advance the goals set under the economic development pillar of Harambee’s second prosperity plan.
“We must therefore advance our policy intervention based on research that can give us a scientific synthesis of the challenges we face and formulate solutions informed by established comparative analyzes and proven interventions,” she said.
Deputy Information Minister Emma Theofelus stressed that it was a good opportunity for the country to know where to step up.
“We have the youth unemployment motion in parliament where I will help see how lawmakers can help eliminate youth unemployment in the country,” she said.
The United Nations estimates that by the end of this year, Namibia is expected to reach 50.3% youth unemployment.