Youth unemployment soars

• BY TRACY TAFIRENYIKA

NAMIBIA has recorded over 600 000 jobless youths, representing a staggering 41.7 percent youth unemployment rate. This is according to a 2021 report compiled by the International Labour Organisation.

The report also stated that young people are disproportionately affected by the global youth unemployment crisis because they have fewer opportunities to get training.

This week, official opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani reiterated that he supports the call for a state of emergency to be declared on youth unemployment.

“We need to declare that this youth employment should be considered as a national emergency. Government should act and react to this unemployment rate. If you are saying that it is not an emergency, you disagree with us.

“By declaring it a national emergency we will be focusing on programmes that will create jobs in the country. It is time for the young people to be at the centre of the development. No longer can we allow our young people to grow old without jobs with their parents in villages, it cannot be business as usual.”

As a response to the challenge, SOS Children’s Village communication officer Saverinus Sainga told Confidente that they have launched a programme that will help the youths and decrease the employment rate in Namibia.

“We have launched Youth Can! A global partnership for youth employability with international partners from the private sector to promote decent employability opportunities for young people who lost or are at risk of losing parental care.

“The Youth Can project aims at providing support to young people through mentorship, skills training and practice (internship), in order to increase their employability chances and become self-reliant. SOS Children’s Village Namibia has now been selected as a Youth Can! project beneficiary.”

The current high youth unemployment rate in Namibia is mostly attributed to the low education levels.