Malawi youth unemployment a cause for worry

Young people in the country continue to face challenges on the labour market despite them constituting 70 percent of the country’s population hence the need for joint efforts by government and other stakeholders to address it.

Job seekers

Acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Joseph Mwandidya, observed this in Lilongwe on Thursday when he opened a national dialogue on future of work.

He said Malawi, like many other developing countries has a youthful population, a majority of whom are unemployment.

“Youth unemployment is at 23 percent compared to the national unemployment rate of 21 percent. A deeper analysis will reveal that most of the employment and work is in the informal sector which faces serious work deficits. The youth find themselves in this sector because they have no alternative means of livelihood. In other words, they are in this sector not by choice but rather for survival,” explained Mwandidya.

He said this is one of the reasons government is implementing the Technical Community Colleges Programme which seeks to equip the youth with skills. Under the programme, community colleges will be established in all the districts in the country.

Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) Programmes Officer, Emmanuel Magomero, said his organization has set up the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) whose core objective is to provide work readiness programmes to young people through apprenticeship to signify its commitment.

“We have also been involved in the work integrated Learning (WIL) by International Labour Organisation and Agriculture Technical and Vocation Education which aims at bridging the skills gap in the horticulture value chain in Malawi with particular focus on young people,” said Magomero.

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