Govt loses youth workforce

Government has failed to retain its youthful workforce between 2012 and 2013, who appear to have hopped to parastals.

This is according to the latest workforce survey analysis by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) under “Youth Employment and Unemployment”.

An employment trend of youths has also shown that youths were likely to be employed if they were married, educated, living in urban areas or between the ages of 30-34.

The number of youths employed by the government in 2012 was at 29 380, but those numbers dropped to 12 190 the following year.

Parastatals seemed to have picked up the pieces from other employment sectors as it employed only 10 267 in 2012, but those number increased to 114 558 in 2013.

Statistics also show that there has been a drastic decrease in youth employment in private households at farms with the numbers standing at 28 663 in 2012, but then reduced to 15 500 in the year which followed.

This was the same trend with youth employed in private households which were not farms, as the number of youths employed were 28 476, but those numbers decreased to 18 174 in the following year.

Agriculture and construction industries were responsible for the highest employment of youths, with over 60 000 youths employed in the agriculture sector, while 26 000 were employed by the construction industry as construction activities have been on the rise, especially in central Namibia.

The NSA has now recommended the formation of a steering committee which will draft guidelines for conventional schools in line with the needs of the labour market.

“The development of policies around youth opportunity which caters for school-goers and leavers are crucial, and funds should be appropriated for such a program. Data will have to be generated in order to determine who attends these programs. What are the opportunities out there for these youth? Do they have skill which are in demand? If not, what can be done to address this?”, the NSA asked in the report.

The NSA further said over-education and undereducation is evident, with 14% recorded in 2013 and 20.55 recorded in 2012 in youths who were overeducated. These numbers were slightly higher in under-education for both those years.

“Overall, the incidence of over-education was 20.5%, with a relatively higher incidence in males than in females. The highest incidence of overeducation was observed in the Erongo Region Foreign loans cost Govt N$10.7b - Pg 2 Fans divided over Mannetti - Pg 28 (35.0%) followed by the Karas Region (27.8%) and the Otjozondjupa Region (26.6%). The least incidence of overeducation was seen in the Ohangwena and Kavango regions”, the report said.

39.5% of Namibia’s youths who are of working age are currently inactive and not participating in the labour markets in Namibia. The numbers were recorded to have been highest in the Ohangwena region, with 60.4% of the youth recorded to have been inactive.

This was followed by the Omusati and Kavango regions. The report also indicated that youths with no education were more likely to remain in employment for a longer period, compared to those who have received tertiary education.

The high-level causes of unemployment in youths has been attributed to a lack of education, inefficient labour markets, the growing skills’ mismatch trend, population bulge and the economic and financial crisis.

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