Zim’s 2,4 million youths still roaming the streets

By Own Correspondent

ZIMBABWE’s 2,4 million youths continue to roam the streets in a scenario which urgently calls for timely responses to avoid wasting such huge potential.

The data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency’s (Zimstat) Second Quarter Labour Force Survey reveals traits of a dire situation and loading time bomb in the country.

“A total 2,394,787 youths between the ages 15- 34 were Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) during the second quarter of 2023. A total of 1 370 309 youths between the age range of 15 to 24 were NEET during the period,” the statistics organ reported.

Frequent economic crises, weak education system, and poor implementation of macroeconomic policies by the government are some of the challenges increasing the rates of youth unemployment.

A study by the European Centre for Research Training and Development UK established that the government should take all measures to create opportunities for employment for the country's youths.

Youths in the Southern Africa nation are feared to be losing out a whole life-time by being unemployed.

“Measures for the Government to prioritize include: re-opening the manufacturing industries, luring foreign direct investment, stamping out corruption and causing curriculum change so that it focuses more on practical skills,” the study established.

The study also calls on the youth to play a role in re-industrialising the country, development which can be achieved if youths with a certain skill are organised into teams or brigades to spearhead re-opening the industries that closed.

 For instance, if a pharmaceutical manufacturing company closed, unemployed youths who studied pharmacy, accounting, chemistry to name but just a few can be given capital and helped to re-open such a company.

The study also established that the government should have a skills audit and database of all unemployed youths showing their qualifications and contact details among other details.

 This, the study said, would help to deploy the unemployed youths into the correct economic zones if the opportunity arises.

“For instance if the Government of Brazil avails irrigation equipment, unemployed youths with qualifications in Agriculture or Irrigation Engineering could be organised and be given land on which to apply their skills and earn a living,” the study added.

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