By: Uakutura Kambaekua – Outjo
Chairperson of the Kunene region Youth Forum Tuakoveni Mocks Kenaumue says that entry-level jobs should be reserved for the locals, arguing that these don’t require qualifications and, in turn, might help in curbing the high unemployment rate in the region.
The Kunene regional youth unemployment rate stands at more than 50 per cent as of the last five years. Recently, the Kunene Youth Forum, together with the Omake Charity Foundation, held a consultative engagement meeting with a group of aggrieved job-seeking youth to discuss various stumbling blocks affecting their employment possibilities.
“Entry jobs, some people when we say these things, people will say you are being regionalist. But sometimes, it’s an issue to say that we need a cleaner in Ombombo and then a person who is employed there is maybe from //Karas or Oshikoto regions. For me, it doesn’t make sense. It’s just to sweep and mop, and we already have a crisis of unemployment. Somewhere somehow, we need to strike a balance and put it into policies that entry jobs that don’t require papers should be reserved for people who are there,” Kenaumue told The Villager.
Kenaumue further said there is a need for employment creation for the youth. “There is a need for employment opportunities to be created for them to be filtered,” he said, adding that public behaviour might also be one of the contributing factors to job-seeking conundrums.
He also stated that the engagement was necessary and imperative, judging by the skyrocketing unemployment rate in the region. Kenaumue said that most young people are not well vested in regard to application processes, interview processes and requirement criteria.
“We have learned that our young people do not know how to fill application forms and sometimes attach documents that are not needed in application forms, including attachments order. These things play a huge role when it comes to the selection on shortlisting of candidates,” noted Kenaumue.
“We learnt that our behaviour in public matters at most. We had pastor Kalusha who took us through how our behaviour matters as far as our conduct is concerned in the public domain, on social media platforms and so on, whereby we have seen that you might have your papers. Still, your behaviour and how you handle yourself and interact with others can also limit you,” said Kenaumue.
According to him, there are plans to expand the deliberations to all parts of the region and not just as job-seeking solutions but to find ways on job creation as well.
The engagement was attended mainly by women. According to Kenaumue, this could also trigger more male interest in the future. He further called on the youths to participate in such platforms that are to their benefit. “The things that affect us the most, or to our benefit, we hardly come. Let’s do all we can to be there, contribute, learn and exchange ideas because it’s not just listening to the panellist but also to exchange and ask questions,” he said.
Many youths, especially in the Kunene region, are faced with many conundrums of finding a job without experience, are disillusioned, uninspired or discouraged after long periods of unemployment looking for jobs, thus leaving the workforce agitated.