The Botswana Movement for Democracy Youth League Leader says that the government has failed to create jobs for the youth and does not see any urgency in doing so.
Addressing a press conference in Gaborone, Armstrong Dikgafela said the one size fits all policy used by the government has proved to be ineffective.
He said that there is no political commitment directed towards youth employment by government, adding that public policies must also play their role in ensuring the necessary jobs for the newly trained workforce are in fact available.
Dikgafela criticized the government for freezing the recruitment of new public sector officers. This, he said, has increased the number of indecent activities, such as drug and alcohol abuse, and sex work which may contribute to HIV/AIDS.
“We vow to┬ánever ever again allow our country, Botswana, to suffer a deficit of democracy, deterioration of good governance, erosion of personal and civil liberties and a┬áculture┬áof fear,” said Dikgafela.
According to BMDYL, youth employment remains a concern in the country and the government should treat creating jobs as an urgent matter. Dikgafela said that the youth unemployment issue is an economic and social issue and, above all, a political issue.
“The one-size-fits-all policy has proved to be a failure,” he said.
The policy recommendations of the Youth Employment Network (YEN) are based on the four global priorities of employability, equal opportunities, entrepreneurship and employment creation.
Dikgafela urged both the public and private sectors to play their role in ensuring that the necessary jobs for the newly trained workforce are available.
He encouraged the government to combine internship programs with graduate employment programs; that way they can be managed by one entity. He said the two programs are overlapping and interns are considered as cheap labour.
The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs Public Relations Officer, Osisinaqa Lekgopo, revealed that 375 interns have now been fully employed since the beginning of the year. She revealed that the Department of National Internship Program this year facilitated the employment of 162 interns in government, 82 in parastatals, 65 in the private sector and six in NGOs.
“Our communication channel is open to both graduates and the employers,” said Lekgoko. She said this program facilitates skills development but does not employ graduates. She also stated that close to two hundred organizations are participating in the program.