Why All Is Not Lost In The Job Market.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

"The true test of civilization," declared American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1870, is not the census, nor the sizes of cities, nor the crops-no, but the kind of a man the country turns out." I'd like to offer a contemporary twist on Emerson's noble thought. That the true test of an institution is the kind of students it turns out. With the trend in our country, I doubt if any of our higher learning institutions can pass this test hands down. This is majorly because of the mind set and attitude held by many graduates. It is from this vices that we point out our job market as harsh and very cruel for starters.

Graduates should be realists; we should know the territory ahead. Of course, students cannot predict the future trends in the job market but we can be prepared for it. In some fundamental way, we are required to develop a habit of separating fact from fiction, the real from fantasy and substance from symbolism. However, this kind of thinking does not develop overnight. Whatever rumors we get, students should be willing to come out of their comfort zones and face the job market with open mind.

"Plights of unemployed Graduates: Harsh realities on soaring number of graduates yet to land employment years after graduation" (Standard, June. 1, 2013). In the past years, headlines like this have become as common as ant at picnic, dampening the spirit of many students and creating scenario of a filled up job market.  The reality on the ground is completely different as the headlines hitting our communication satellites. Problems that seemed formidable only 50 years ago are now forgotten as if they never existed or remembered only as relics of long ago medieval times. Major contributors to this, are the people who have taken upon themselves to proper research and doing works beyond their call of duty. According to the experts, we can look forward to an increasing cadence of startling and wonderful breakthroughs in the near future.  Universities have been made aware of this dynamic and environmental needs  of the society and have put measures to assist graduates with the much needed skills to bring about the desired change in the mind set and attitude on students. This is where the loophole lies in the job market.

There are many sectors in the economy that are yet to be explored and for some that are newly explored services of young and energetic brains are desperately needed. Currently there is a cute shortage of technical skills in the market. This has a negative impact on the country therefore putting government plans and vision 2030 at stake. Graduates with the help of social networking sites should come in groups with other students from technical colleges to grab this opportunity. It comes at  a time when major infrastructures are coming up. Think of the Konza city and Garden city and the roads all over our countries?  It could not be better said when we are yet to gain from the devolved system of government. Tanzania firm is to set up a miller firm In Kenya. This open avenues in the agricultural sector as maize and wheat will be up for grabs due to the competition.

The vast opportunities lie in the devolved system of government. It therefore calls on all young leaders to put our leaders at task to adhere to the supreme law of the land. This lies in the Macro-economic sector since economic growth is imperative of all sensible governments. There is an excellent macro-economic justification to rationalize the public sector wage bill. The constitution requires the government to have a wage setting mechanism which links remuneration to fiscal sustainability while ensuring that public service continues to attract and retain skilled staff. The government is in expansive plan to do away with unconstitutional offices like those of the county commissioners with their retinue of support staff and expansive offices. There are also a number of duplicating offices that requires debate in the national assemble to amend the constitution to reduce the number of the counties. The government has begun to redeploy these officers in top parastatal jobs. Thus a positive move for young people in this country.

The county governments are also seeking on other ways to get funds. This will see the re-opening of the stalled industries in various counties therefore opening up means of employment. Counties are also putting in structures in readiness to handle major sectors such as the health.

There is a set aside Ksh. 100b for youth funds in this financial year. This cash can be accessed in groups of between 7-12 with a working business proposal. This resonates well with the emerging trends in business innovation centers in higher learning institutions. The latest being Chandaria in Kenyatta University. The nurtured ideas in these centers can therefore be put into practice through the funds from the youth’s kitty. Many banks are also offering affordable loans to students with good business ideas making capital a thing of the past.

Therefore we should look into the future with a lot of optimism, have a clear map that guides our thoughts and most importantly, be pro-active to bring out the best in us and grab the opportunities available to contribute to the manifesto of the current regime. 

By Reagan Nyadimo

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