Youths implore govt to tackle unemployment


New Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Patrick Zhuwao

THE Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) implored government Tuesday to immediately tackle rising unemployment in the country and save millions of young people, some of them highly qualified graduates, from a worsening economy.
“There are a number issues affecting youths,” said ZYC acting director, Sangano Chisina.
“Quick in my mind is unemployment, it is a real issue,” said Chisina, after the country’s new Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Patrick Zhuwao toured the ZYC head office in Harare.
Unemployment has been rising in Zimbabwe, where companies have been closing as a result of many factors, including high interest costs, a dwindling market, declining disposable incomes and power shortages.
At the same time, thousands of youths have been graduating from colleges and universities finding no job opportunities.
These youths, Chisina said, were now facing new challenges relating to the appropriateness of the skills they were obtaining in tertiary institutions, one of the issues that the ZYC director said must be urgently addressed.
“The issue is that of inappropriate skills, which do not relate to the industrial demands,” he said.
“This has also contributed to high unemployment.”
Government says the country’s unemployment is at about 11 percent, taking into account over 5,7 million people who have been forced to join the informal sector after failing to secure formal jobs.
It argues that these informal sector people are employed.
But unions have said the country’s rate of unemployment is over 70 percent.
Two months ago, over 20 000 workers lost their jobs in a bout of retrenchments that followed a court ruling giving employers the right to fire workers on three months’ notice.
This worsened an already bad situation.
Zhuwao said he would be looking at a number of ways to alleviate the unemployment situation.