[Guest post] Alarming number of young graduates without a job

Greetings everyone!

Today, I have the utmost pleasure to welcome again on this blog, A.A who previously wrote the following articles : “Are ICT jobs decreasing in Mauritius?“, “Do you find the budgetary measures for ICT lame too?” and “The 7 ideas to make Mauritius a cyber island!“.

However, before switching to his article, let me link to this extract of today’s edition of Defi Quotidien (see the left image just below).

journee-mondiale

Let something be clear : Publishing important events in the blog allows me to easily hop to these dates through my Time Machine (found in the sidebar, as shown right above)

Now, let’s continue to today’s topic 🙂

The guest post

people

It goes without saying that our country has a real problem due to the persistent increase in unemployment among youngsters. Through this guest article, I wanted to express my feelings, share my observations and views about the limited job opportunities in our island. I have gone through so many bad times during the past months and probably many among you have similar experiences too.

Dreaming about a career is not enough

Just imagine how hard it can be for parents who have sacrificed themselves for years to provide the best education for their children and then, these same children find themselves without a job, despite having the best degrees! And similarly, those students who have worked so hard for years and when the time comes to look for a job, all doors are closed.

Today, the youngsters must ask themselves these questions before enrolling a course:

  • What will this certificate serve me later?
  • What guarantee I have that I will even use it in the future?
  • Will I get a job in my field after the completion of the course, after x years?

Boasting about the country’s unemployment rate

The government denies that youth unemployment crisis is a big issue. While approximately 9% of the population is unable to find a job, approximately 20% of fresh graduates are currently unemployed. This figure is not an issue for our politicians but for a small country like Mauritius with only about 1.3 million inhabitants, it is too much, especially with the rise in the standard of living!

They think this situation has been caused by a mismatch in qualifications, lack of experiences or simply no jobs are available in the field you have studied. To start with, we can clearly make the following conclusion : Many universities ( including UOM) are still offering courses with either no or limited job prospects in the future!

In an attempt to “solve” some of these problems, the government had introduced a “Youth employment programme” some time back : They send selected fresh graduates for a job placement in private companies to get trained and know how to do the job. At the end of the month, the government contributes (or takes in charge) the salary of the fresh graduate trainee.

While this can give a permanent job to these young unexperienced graduates after their training of several months, the situation is very alarming since their salary can be considered as peanuts when you realise the amount of sacrifice they made for their studies.

A graduate per family

Due to this vision of the government to have at least one graduate per house, more and more people are going for a diploma, degree or a master but most of them will be probably be unemployed or employed in a position which does not require so many studies.

As a direct consequence, people with degrees and masters are currently employed as simple clerks in many companies around the island. And can you imagine the shame and embarrassment for a degree or masters holder who need to suck to get this simple job? This is really a painful reality!

I feel sorry for our fresh graduates in medicine that majority of them are finding immense difficulties to practice in hospitals. While I agree that a large number of doctors has a considerable impact on the budget allocated for health, I still do not know why we have to bring doctors from other countries to work here when our own citizens are being penalized and deprived of a job. We could bring these foreign doctors only to assist our fellow beginners for a period, but enable them to practice is a bad solution.

Moreover, I do not know why there are still a lot of foreigners working in the construction and textile sectors when we could employ local people who are not highly literate. Companies just want to make profits by paying foreign workers less than Mauritians. As a negative impact, this is increasing unemployment rate.

Education as a lucrative business.

Have you ever asked yourself the following question:

Why are so many universities (and branches) opening in the island?

You are learning in greedy institutions which concentrate only on profits but provide you poor infrastructure and teachings. If you read the newspapers regularly, you probably know what I’m talking about.

Academics vs Experience

A degree or masters is just a piece of paper, which is unable to guarantee you a job. However, experience is what employers look for in the market and a very little number of employers are willing to train a fresh graduate at their own costs.

Companies think only about their profits and to be profitable, their workforce need to be productive and efficient as soon as possible. If there’s a job opening for a web developer for example and we have two candidates :  a master-holder and a A-level candidates with 3 years of proven work experience, I can bet that the guy with 3 years experience will get the job. This is the reality and no one can deny this (unless the master holder knows someone in the company lol).

My personal piece of advice to students

  • Make sure the field you are enrolling for a degree is promising where you can find a job in it after the completion of your degree.
  • Instead of concentrating in one field now, better you take into account of other fields as well. Do not forget, the degree you will study sooner may or may not serve you later on, depending on the job market.
  • You can perhaps land in a different field, who knows! So, prepare yourself to be a jack of all trades even if you master none. That’s how you can survive!
  • If you have the opportunity and means, try to create your own business.
  • Do not seek for higher wages when you apply a job if you have no experience. Always start with something low, with time and experiences, increases in salary will follow accordingly. Experiences count nowadays, always remember this!

Summing up

As conclusion, I tremendously think this country will be in peril if no drastic measures are taken to decrease the youth unemployment rate. The government must act fast else it will be our children who will suffer.The government knows this issue very well else the ministry of labor would not recommend people to work abroad. A shame!

From A A.

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  • Well..

    Almost all the points mentioned in the post are true as well as is a reality of today. We are living in an island where most of the employees are “imported”. You might find that a lot in hospitals and in textile industries. Private clinics are likely to recruit foreigners rather than local doctors for work . Is the problem actually with local doctors not having enough experience? I bet not.. In a world where education is rising at the level of sky scrapers.. People tend to learn quick and fast… The rate of doctors are increasing like really really lot and what people are not realizing is that thinking of going for medical sector as studies ain’t gonna take you anywhere. If memory serves me right, most of the student of SSR who just finished with their studies are not getting a job. The list is high and high as well alarming.

    The life we are living in requires both certificates and experiences in my personal opinion. People would rather employ someone with great certificates rather than someone with experience without good certificates. What i mean to say is both factors are actually important for one to benefit for a job. Nowadays, University is just a waste of time in my personal opinion. It’s only spending BUCKS BUCKS AND BUCKS. I know people finishing their A-level and getting into the business sectors.. why? Because there isn’t any way where you are going to get a job anywhere, or if you even get the job, it’s almost on a contract basis.

    The amount of graduates are increasing on yearly basis and we cannot expect the job market for vacancies unless there’s a sudden rate in the amount of death :P. Well. Nowadays.. for a student who wish for a good life ahead, and not retiring with 50K in the bank account, business is the solution. What’s the use of studying and studying if in the end you will be left as someone with no future, no place for you in the job market, which means no bucks? Experience matters, but nowadays the fact remains that unless you are well known or your family is known someway somehow, then you might get the job. Else you will end up as always being someone playing farmville the whole day.

    In the end.. Well. . There’s no way vacancies will rise in the future.. Except Nurses and Police officers. Else.. Nothing.. Doctors – No job – Personal cabinet .
    Civil engineering – Nothing . Software engineering – Might have some luck . Everyone is rushing towards ACCA , this makes me wonder why this sector has not been sunk yet lol

  • A A

    Thank you for commenting.

    Another reason for a degree is useless is it is outdated with time. For example, the technologies someone has learned 5 years ago in his IT course are outdated today. This is why I favor professional certification more. But still that, it does not guarantee a job.

    Bear in mind when I say a degree is useless, it is not in all fields. But for IT it is certainly yes. You get better learning resources on the web, video tutorials and books than in universities.

  • AshvinDX

    Education is not a bad thing. But wishing that everyone gets 3-year degrees is stupid. Do a course only if you really like that field, and really want to do that. Even if it’s saturated field, if you are the best at it, you’ll be hired (locally or abroad).

    CUTTING SUPPLY: The first thing to do is to cut 90% of seats at all local universities. We need to stop producing graduates! Outcome: less graduates on the market in 3 years means the current ones will get their job in the coming 2-3 years.

    ADDRESSING DEMAND: Then, implement a planning in career at national level like… Singapore! Quotas to be set and promote tertiary courses for sectors where there are many vacancies: textile, security, manufacturing, tourism, nursing and some specific fields in IT (not computer science, I’m referring to specific technologies which can be served with 1 year or so course). Outcome: less expats needed, vacancies can be filled in locally, job market mismatch could be solved.

    NO MINIMUM PAY: Thankfully, Mauritius does not have a minimum wages law.

    WORK SMALL JOBS OR FREE: Jobless graduates can build work experience, even in other fields. Any job experience is better than no job experience, because it shows that the person can handle responsibilities.

  • AshvinDX

    I dont’ agree with the point that you absolutely need contacts to get jobs. It’s not the case in so many companies nowadays.

    Many have started to recruit via psychometric tests, which allows the employer to recruit even those without experience if they are the best.

    But if you are going to university, to do something you don’t like, or are not good academically, then just dont go to university (read good HSC results), except for some specific fields e.g. arts.

    Academic education is not the only education! If you are not an academic person, you will prosper better without university education: various small and medium businesses produce 40% of our GDP.

  • cokefest

    Excellent post and we have the same difficulties here in South Africa. Experience is your key to the future . I will start my own business soon (currently getting money for investment). lol I have a degree in psychology and you know what that means? No jobs available but I will help underprivileged children etc for free when I can 🙂 Ummm I might be wrong but correct me but Mauritius has a high tertiary education right? Also with the doctors situation well you need specialists etc

    Edit: Next time I am in Mauritius we should meet up for a beer or something 😉

  • lolmaster

    1. Ki sa concept 1 gradue par fami la sa. Mem piti fail hsc, fer li rentre universite ek foundation course. Baisser em nivo education.

    2. Ki sa ban degree ban ki fail hsc la fer? Eski zot kv fer bsc medical acience ou ingenieur ou llb? Non. Zot fer etude craz crazer. Pa etonnant pa ggn travay ek ban cours kuma hr, political science, histoire etc

    La ki piti la ggn degree craz crazer li pa pu travay la terre, fer macon, jardinier etc ek p bisin amen etranger

  • Shane

    A good computer science course will not simply teach you about specific technologies that get outdated. It should teach you about concepts that will have the legs to outlast the latest trendy framework du jour.

  • A A

    Huh? O.o

  • Anousha

    Hello thank you for sharing your views about the alarming
    number of graduates without jobs. I am a university student now in my second
    year. You justified the points really well! Nowadays many young people are
    graduating from the universities every year hence increasing the rate of
    employment which results in dissatisfaction and disappointments of those young
    graduates. Big companies do not really give opportunity to young graduates to
    prove their skills they gained rather they give opportunity to those who have
    experiences and that too around 3-5 years of experience. I wonder where these
    graduates will ever get a chance in this highly competitive job market. I had
    always a question if we young graduates we are not given at least a chance to
    prove our capabilities then where will we have experiences?! I think the
    seniors working in those big companies should really think about giving
    retirement or promotions to older employees so that the actual young graduates
    can finally get the job. You mentioned that apart from our degree, we should
    concentrate in other fields as well, that’s completely true since we cannot
    really rely simply on one thing. Perhaps that’s why many young graduates leave
    the country.

  • A A

    Well, now I am reading your comments and thank you for that.

    In which field you have been graduated, if you don’t mind I ask?

    I am into IT and I totally regret it.

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