60% of Nam youth unemployed - Motinga

Youth unemployment in Namibia is rated at almost 60%, making it a pertaining issue in the country as stated in the report; ‘Youth unemployment: The Namibian Context in perspective 2012’.
This report was tabled at the National Youth Service Stakeholders’ Conference held in the capital last week. According to it, 59.9% of the youth unemployment rate equates to a total of 183 331 economically active unemployed Namibian youth. A closer analysis reveals that unemployment mostly affects the 15-34 age group.
 The report further states that the total economically active population or labour force (15-64 age group) is of 531 013, with the majority of the total labour force within the age group of 15-34, making up 58% of the workforce while those between 35-64 constitute 42% of the workforce.
The reason behind the high rise of unemployment, according to the report, is due to the fact that the new entrants into the labour market - young people - lack the experience, qualifications and necessary skills to meet the requirements of the market; thus rendering them unable to realistically compete for jobs with experienced and skilled workers.
The report gives recommendations such as introducing free access to tertiary education for all eligible Namibian citizens for the purpose of increasing opportunities for young people to obtain the needed qualifications and skills in order to realise a knowledge-based Namibian economy.
Furthermore, there’s need to enhance internship programmes and introduce incentives to employers in order to enable the youth to gain the necessary working experience as a link to permanent employment opportunities, the reports adds.
It also states that there should be relevant career guidance and technical skills to the youth in rural areas to mitigate rural-urban migration.
In this regard, a Namibia training authority officer present at the conference emphasised that their organisation is currently holding talks with organisations to provide internships to the youth, especially the graduates. In addition, he said, they need to conduct a survey, which will emphasise on which specific skills shortage is experienced in the country. Through that, they shall develop a curriculum that will train the youth in those sectors, making  them more employable.
FNB Namibia Holding group economist, Daniel Motinga, on his part emphasised through his presentation ‘Mapping youth unemployment’, that youth unemployment has become a national issue.
“The ratio of youth unemployment is of 2.7%; youth are 4% more unemployed than adults in Namibia. This is caused by the lack of skills and experiences needed by companies looking to hire. Moreover, most youth members have dropped out of school and that makes them unemployable,” he stated.