By David Ssempijja
The tendency to focus more on searching for white-collar jobs is among the leading causes of unemployment among today’s educated population, a senior government official has observed.
Matia Kasaija, the finance state minister for economic planning noted that the struggle to combat unemployment especially among the young population was being constrained by job seekers’ negative attitude towards manual work.
“People ought to understand that the days of white collar jobs are behind us, no matter the field of one’s education. The country’s labour supply side far outstrips the rate at which job seekers join the labour market; even then, there is no guarantee that only white collar jobs are ultimate ends to one’s financial destiny,” he said.
White-collar workers perform professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor. Typically white collar work is performed in an office.
“Statistics may vary, but out of every ten youth that complete or drop out of school, six to eight are likely to be unemployed, yet the blue collar job market is enormous and many have rooted financial success through it,” the minister argued.
He was speaking at function during which Enterprise Uganda, sealed a three year partnership with The Prince’s Youth Business International (YBI) to strengthen the former’s capacity to train more youth in modern entrepreneurship.
Kasaija appealed to Enterprise Uganda to emphasise changing the young people’s mindset about employment by encouraging them to outgrow the tendencies of wanting to start big in business.
He was optimistic that the 2011-2020 Skilling Uganda project implementation would lead many youth into the job market for it seeks to boost public appreciation of the Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
“Government is acutely aware of the enormous and diverse challenges that the country faces today, with youth unemployment being among the most critical; therefore, going vocational will get more youth into gainful work,” he said.
According to the executive director Enterprise Uganda Charles Ocici, the organization had trained over 30,000 youths in business since 2007.
He added that the YBI support will help in identifying 2,000 youth across the country per year, train them to positively change their mindset in view of business development.
“At Enterprise Uganda, we have witnessed that knowledge is more valuable than money when it comes to building businesses, we have seen training beneficiaries that come to our venues without money, but within less than ten years, their enterprises grow to the levels of employing others,” he said.
The World Labour Organization puts the number of unemployment globally at 100 million and by 2015, there will be 3 billion people in the world under 25 years in the world.