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Story Highlights

  • Young professionals are being faced with diminishing opportunities for employment
  • The government will be improving the legislation to assist E-Enterprises
  • Two thirds of working age young people in some developing countries are either unemployed or trapped in low quality jobs.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lloyd B. Smith, is encouraging young people to strive to be entrepreneurs, noting that their future employment rests in that area.

Mr. Smith said that increasing numbers of young professionals in both the private and public sectors are being faced with diminishing opportunities for employment and professional advancement as employees.  He also noted that the increasing availability of tertiary education within the country is producing more young professional graduates, who are having difficulty in finding gainful employment.

“Clearly what is being envisioned is that the future of work for youth is in entrepreneurship (which is) very important,” he said.

Mr. Smith was addressing a Young Professional Forum, at the 36th Annual Convention of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), being held at the Secrets Wild Orchid Resort in Montego Bay, on Saturday July 20, 2013.

He said that the Government of Jamaica recognizes and accepts that there is a problem in the area of youth unemployment and as such is in the process of implementing a number of responses and interventions.

He argued that new and innovative ways have to be found to get the country’s young people to be involved in business enterprises, adding that the creative industries can be intermingled to create entrepreneurial possibilities.  He said that in many respect the future for youth employment is online.

Mr. Smith further informed that the government will be improving the legislation to assist the orderly development of E-Enterprises.

The Deputy Speaker said the problem of youth unemployment is not confined to any particular country or region, as it is present in both developed and underdeveloped countries and was there prior to the global economic crisis, which makes it a critical issue.

He added that the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013 Report shows that two thirds of working age young people in some developing countries are either unemployed or trapped in low quality jobs.

“In some countries over 60 per cent of young people are either unemployed, working but in low quality irregular low wage jobs, often in the informal economy, or neither in the labour force nor in education or training,” Mr. Smith stated.

This situation, he emphasized, is being described by the ILO as a waste of economic potential.

“And I suspect that it is against that background that the conversation surrounding entrepreneurship among young professionals becomes most potent,” he stated.