Create jobs for young graduates
I just spoke with a young man who undertook studies at the Northern Caribbean University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in medical technology.
He laboured for four years, working odd jobs whilst doing his studies. His mother lacked the means to assist him, so he had to work to pay his school fees and other expenses.
He prayed for graduation, and in his mind, when that day came, his world would change and he would now be able to command a salary commensurate with his qualifications. That dream died and his expectation fell.
For four years, he did not get a job. Each day, the hope would dim but, relentlessly, he still continued to send out applications. He eventually had to take a job as a security guard and now earns $13,000 per fortnight, even though he is saddled with a student loan.
He pays $10,000 per month towards this, but it cannot dent the debt which grew during the period of his unemployment. It seems the one industry that is growing in Jamaica is the security services, testament of the state of affairs in our country.
His story is not unique. The struggle of going to a tertiary institution, working and studying and looking forward to the day when they will be compensated for their sacrifices is common to so many young graduates today.
I cannot help but feel a sense of anger, mixed with despair, at those who have committed our people to this fate, forcing them to walk like vagrants in search of a living in foreign lands, killing their dreams and hopes.
Yet, there are the learned servants in this country who are paid millions for consultancies that do not produce anything of value. The extent of their contribution is reflected in the state of the organisations they work for and the state of the economy.
Can the civic organisations use their collective influences and exercise the courage to secure a private sector-funded 'Planning and Intelligence Centre', which would,
, incorporate the following:
Identify and forecast the areas of expertise that will be in demand by the country, so young people can pursue areas of study where their skills can be fully utilised.
Provide Government with critical data in respect to the categorisation of our population, so that plans can be made to secure the future well-being of our young and elderly, and adequately utilise the skills of our working population to achieve maximum value.
Identify the growth of inner city, upper residential and middle-income communities, and track their growth to ensure that plans are implemented to reduce the growth of inner-city communities.
I am, etc.,
FAYE E. JACOBS