Out of work
- Allowance to the unemployed cannot be a long term solution for joblessness
Jul 23, 2015-
In the aftermath of the Great Earthquake, over thousands of youth volunteers reached out to the affected population and were widely acknowledged for their efforts in the post disaster scenario. According to youth organisations, more than 50,000 volunteers were active in the Capital alone. However, the skills of many youths in this nation continue to be wasted due to an acute shortage of jobs in the country. According to an International Labour Organisation report titled ‘Labour market transitions of young women and men in Nepal-2014’, 38.5 percent of youths in Nepal are employed, 9.2 percent are unemployed while 52.3 percent are inactive. In addition, the report reveals that unemployment is higher among the youth population in urban areas than in rural areas. There are more educated youths in the country than ever before and the number is rising. Although higher education does increase one’s chances of securing a better job, surprisingly in Nepal, as per the report, unemployment is higher among the educated youths. To quote the report “the youth unemployment rate of a university graduate is triple that of the young person with no education at all (26.1 per cent and 8.2 per cent, respectively).’’
As per the Foreign Employment Promotion Board, every day about 1,800 youths leave Nepal for employment abroad. Thus, during the public feedback sessions on the draft constitution, many locals insisted that the government and the political parties focus on creating new jobs for young people.
The government in the draft constitution has addressed unemployment by adding a new provision through which unemployed people will receive an allowance from the state until they get a job. This provision, though welcome, is only a temporary fix to the grievances of the unemployed. The bigger question is whether our government can even afford this or what measures it can take in order to achieve it. Taxes are the main source of government revenue. Thus, this new provision might just be saddled on the backs of the taxpayers, who already do not get much tax benefits.
What the young want are jobs that pay them decent wages needed to lead respectful lives not mere handouts. So, the government should instead focus on creating job opportunities, which can be achieved through new openings in the public sector, and creating a favourable environment for investment. To be fair, the government has taken this issue into consideration, and through the reconstruction budget recently announced by the Ministry of Finance, ambitiously aims to train 50,000 youth through Skill Development Training Centres. This is commendable. But given the huge number of educated yet unemployed youths in this country, there is little to be hopeful about.
Published: 24-07-2015 08:11