Let's help fix youth unemployment
Jobseekers gather under a tree at Girls' Guides Headquarters in St Andrew on Tuesday, following news that the Canadian job fair would not be held there. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Dear Editor,

Nowadays, many youth are unemployed, even those who are highly qualified or overqualified.

From 2012 to 2022, the youth unemployment rate in Jamaica averaged 26.21 per cent, with a high of 37.00 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 and a low of 15.50 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.

To begin with, the lack of necessary qualifications among young people is the root cause of youth unemployment. Employers seek candidates with a fair amount of prior experience for the position. In other words, employers would prefer to hire a worker with stable skills and abilities because it will prevent them from having to invest resources in training a novice employee.

The Government can put in place measures to enhance the instruction and preparation given to young people with a focus on career skills. Young adults will benefit from better education and training because they will be better prepared for the workforce.

One method of training someone is to let them experience a more practical understanding or more hands-on work. A method could be for the Government and private sector companies to increase their internship programmes for high school students across Jamaica so that they can have more experience in the field of what they plan to do or have the experience to go into the working world.

Secondly, another method of training is to let people get experience in the practical field by, for example, increasing the number of practicuum sessions in high school or university.

Because there are so many unemployed people in Jamaica, I would strongly advise the Government to look for innovative ways to put strategies in place that can create employment there. This will help the economy and the citizens as well. Since so many people are jobless, it has an impact on their daily lives and even contributes to more delinquent activities such as robberies, crime, and violence, as well as a lack of education for kids and young adults.

Chante' McFarlane


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