Port Moresby: Start being creative and always try to maintain a positive attitude even though finding employment might at first seem daunting and way out of reach.
These were the encouraging words of five Grade-11 students of Don Bosco Technical Secondary School, on Wednesday 7th July 2021, during their talk on Chat Room regarding the issue of ‘Graduating but not being able to work’.
The issue had its various aspects dwelled on that gave viewers and listeners an in-depth insight into just how much it impacted our young people of the day. Aspects ranged from challenges faced by new graduates, the negative effect of unemployment, a cross-cultural comparison of Papua New Guinea and other countries, reference to personal experiences, whether PNG could be categorized as an ‘Agrarian’ or ‘Industrialized’ society, the need to learn from developed countries, and a call for parents and the government to take into account more seriously the plight of youths.
Commencing discussions, Matthew Eddie stressed how it was a serious issue today that affected and caused worry among many young people especially during their final year of study at Secondary Schools and at the University level. “Not being able to work after graduating continues to be a problem here in the country with the number of unemployed youths growing by the day. When we are students our dream is to finish studies and be employed, but this is hardly the case because many graduates don't find employment and just hang about the streets,” he stated.
Taina Joku highlighted the challenges and effects of unemployment on young individuals and cautioned how prolonged experience only created a negative atmosphere for the individuals that would ultimately be detrimental to their wellbeing. “Many factors cause unemployment from not enough spaces or job vacancies made available to even wantok systems and bribery that prevent someone who is qualified to take up the role. The feeling of not being successful for a job has a negative effect on our financial wellbeing and this experience hinders us from progressing into the next stage of our lives,” he explained.
Reflecting on the quote of United States President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in his inaugural address of 1961, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’, Josh Pupun, urged individuals not to blame the government or anyone for the rise in unemployment and called for society to start taking initiative. “Most would blame the government for this predicament but what needs to be done is for common sense to prevail, when people start to realize the importance of taking an initiative and helping to sustain themselves,” he said.
Leon Nebanat said that unemployment had negative effects associated with it and implored the Government not to turn a blind eye on the matter, and to start diverting funds and resources to programs that would provide an opportunity for young people to engage themselves in positive and creative activities. “Rise in petty and serious crimes are the direct result of unemployment because as long as people don’t have formal employment and they’ve been pushed to the end of their wits, they will steal to survive. This only creates insecurities for our commuters particularly for our mothers and sisters when they move around,” he added.
He further stated, “PNG is a resource rich country and it is also an agrarian society where it still depends heavily on agriculture and raw material export for financial revenue. It has not yet reached the full stage of industrialization. When there are more facilities, factories, and industries established to cater for our raw products, then we will see more employment being created where our local experts take the lead in becoming innovative and overseeing the growth of the country.”
Julius Mondejar emphasized the need for more employment opportunities to be created by the government and encouraged for new graduates seeking employment to never give up on hope. “Though you might be faced with this situation, remember not to give up. Rely on yourselves and utilize the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired. When one door closes a window opens,” he said.
Before ending their discussion, a humble appeal was made to the government to truly start investing in education in order for the country to bear witness to a significant and tangible difference that will be beneficial to all.
For Wednesday 14th July, Chat Room will have the Grade-11 students of Caritas Technical Secondary School take on the issue, ‘Social Media and its impact on young people’.