Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Unemployment-where are we heading? 

22 Augustus 2010 08:44:03

Unemployment-where are we heading?


Sohail Rashid

Connecting education to jobs without a career counselling and planning and a clear sense of direction increase influx of graduates coming out of colleagues and universities with degrees but hardly any skills.

Though we as nation have pledged that we would abide by International Labour Organization (ILO)’s decent work strategy and the Millennium Development Goals to provide all citizens jobs to bring them out of poverty but such commitments do not seem working and frustration is growing among the youth and the elders alike.

“I think our education system does not match to job requirements as there is hardly any serious focus on vocational and professional education. We are just producing employment seeking white collar class instead of entrepreneurs and skilled human resources,” said Muhammad Kashif, academic staff at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) in Islamabad. He was of the view that our graduates and post-graduates hold degrees awarded to them for qualifying theoretical and conceptual examinations but they do not hold any skills that can make them useful in job and entrepreneur market.

Youth studying in colleges and Universities are in a fear of insecurity about their future as unemployment rate is increasing across Pakistan. Parents at their end also feel insecure with a fear that despite spending money on education, the younger generation was not sure of getting jobs. This may lead to further frustration of the youth.

Jamil ur Rehman, another teacher from the University said, “attitude of our youth towards choice for a carer is also unrealistic and non productive. They want to get only some white-collar job. After spending three or four years in college or university, they can’t even think to do a tough job, infect they start dreaming of a job of an officer sitting in air conditioned room, which is not realistic approach.”

Unemployment rate rose to 15.2% in 2009 from 13.6% in 2008. If we go by these estimated trends, in 2010, it may be even more as our economy have had jerks and recent flood have destroyed even our farm labour. A large number of educated youth is unemployed in both urban and rural areas.

Growing unemployment of graduates and other qualified youth discourages some of parents who are taking other thoughts of better not to sending their children to schools. Some evidence-based studies show this trend is putting more children in child labour.

Unemployment is no more an urban phenomenon; it is also increasing in rural areas. Due to rural unemployment and poverty, people are migrating to cities, which are adding up to civic problems.

“Whenever a new technology or a subject is introduced in Pakistan, most of the students and parents try to go after that as we do not have a system of career counselling in place. Every one wants to do a Master’s Business Administration or in Computer Sciences. That created saturation in the job market and now against a few posts, thousand of MBAs of MCS apply,” said Imtiaz Minhas, a physics teacher at Islamabad Model College for Boys IMCB.

 “Redundancy can be reduced, lives of the people can be saved just a timely concentration is required from the government and concern authorities,” he concluded.