Today, I have the utmost pleasure to welcome again on this blog, A.A who previously wrote the following articles : “Are ICT jobs decreasing in Mauritius?“, “Do you find the budgetary measures for ICT lame too?” and “The 7 ideas to make Mauritius a cyber island!“.
However, before switching to his article, let me link to this extract of today’s edition of Defi Quotidien (see the left image just below).
Let something be clear : Publishing important events in the blog allows me to easily hop to these dates through my Time Machine (found in the sidebar, as shown right above)
Now, let’s continue to today’s topic 🙂
The guest post
It goes without saying that our country has a real problem due to the persistent increase in unemployment among youngsters. Through this guest article, I wanted to express my feelings, share my observations and views about the limited job opportunities in our island. I have gone through so many bad times during the past months and probably many among you have similar experiences too.
Dreaming about a career is not enough
Just imagine how hard it can be for parents who have sacrificed themselves for years to provide the best education for their children and then, these same children find themselves without a job, despite having the best degrees! And similarly, those students who have worked so hard for years and when the time comes to look for a job, all doors are closed.
Today, the youngsters must ask themselves these questions before enrolling a course:
- What will this certificate serve me later?
- What guarantee I have that I will even use it in the future?
- Will I get a job in my field after the completion of the course, after x years?
Boasting about the country’s unemployment rate
The government denies that youth unemployment crisis is a big issue. While approximately 9% of the population is unable to find a job, approximately 20% of fresh graduates are currently unemployed. This figure is not an issue for our politicians but for a small country like Mauritius with only about 1.3 million inhabitants, it is too much, especially with the rise in the standard of living!
They think this situation has been caused by a mismatch in qualifications, lack of experiences or simply no jobs are available in the field you have studied. To start with, we can clearly make the following conclusion : Many universities ( including UOM) are still offering courses with either no or limited job prospects in the future!
In an attempt to “solve” some of these problems, the government had introduced a “Youth employment programme” some time back : They send selected fresh graduates for a job placement in private companies to get trained and know how to do the job. At the end of the month, the government contributes (or takes in charge) the salary of the fresh graduate trainee.
While this can give a permanent job to these young unexperienced graduates after their training of several months, the situation is very alarming since their salary can be considered as peanuts when you realise the amount of sacrifice they made for their studies.
A graduate per family
Due to this vision of the government to have at least one graduate per house, more and more people are going for a diploma, degree or a master but most of them will be probably be unemployed or employed in a position which does not require so many studies.
As a direct consequence, people with degrees and masters are currently employed as simple clerks in many companies around the island. And can you imagine the shame and embarrassment for a degree or masters holder who need to suck to get this simple job? This is really a painful reality!
I feel sorry for our fresh graduates in medicine that majority of them are finding immense difficulties to practice in hospitals. While I agree that a large number of doctors has a considerable impact on the budget allocated for health, I still do not know why we have to bring doctors from other countries to work here when our own citizens are being penalized and deprived of a job. We could bring these foreign doctors only to assist our fellow beginners for a period, but enable them to practice is a bad solution.
Moreover, I do not know why there are still a lot of foreigners working in the construction and textile sectors when we could employ local people who are not highly literate. Companies just want to make profits by paying foreign workers less than Mauritians. As a negative impact, this is increasing unemployment rate.
Education as a lucrative business.
Have you ever asked yourself the following question:
Why are so many universities (and branches) opening in the island?
You are learning in greedy institutions which concentrate only on profits but provide you poor infrastructure and teachings. If you read the newspapers regularly, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Academics vs Experience
A degree or masters is just a piece of paper, which is unable to guarantee you a job. However, experience is what employers look for in the market and a very little number of employers are willing to train a fresh graduate at their own costs.
Companies think only about their profits and to be profitable, their workforce need to be productive and efficient as soon as possible. If there’s a job opening for a web developer for example and we have two candidates : a master-holder and a A-level candidates with 3 years of proven work experience, I can bet that the guy with 3 years experience will get the job. This is the reality and no one can deny this (unless the master holder knows someone in the company lol).
My personal piece of advice to students
- Make sure the field you are enrolling for a degree is promising where you can find a job in it after the completion of your degree.
- Instead of concentrating in one field now, better you take into account of other fields as well. Do not forget, the degree you will study sooner may or may not serve you later on, depending on the job market.
- You can perhaps land in a different field, who knows! So, prepare yourself to be a jack of all trades even if you master none. That’s how you can survive!
- If you have the opportunity and means, try to create your own business.
- Do not seek for higher wages when you apply a job if you have no experience. Always start with something low, with time and experiences, increases in salary will follow accordingly. Experiences count nowadays, always remember this!
As conclusion, I tremendously think this country will be in peril if no drastic measures are taken to decrease the youth unemployment rate. The government must act fast else it will be our children who will suffer.The government knows this issue very well else the ministry of labor would not recommend people to work abroad. A shame!
From A A.