Business of unemployment: The lure of filthy lucre (2)

(By Egwu Ben Obasi)

Making business out of the predicaments of job seekers is manifestly bad business. Ripping off these hapless victims of exploitation is a sin. It is unconscionable, criminal and heightens the frustration associated with highly raised expectation of useful life that goes with graduation, which comes crashing owing to absence of gainful employment thereafter. Viewed from diverse ramifications, business of unemployment is clearly the lure of filthy lucre, which only the agents of exploitation and morally deficient characters will find attractive.

Continued from yesterday (7-7-2014)

ADLY, money was paid, no job was reportedly offered and no refunds were made either. Most families, and indeed the nation, are still mourning the immigration job tragedy that occurred not too long ago.  Every other thing connected with it is now history.

   The government must look into these dubious activities and check the trend before the situation gets out of hand, by outlawing these exploitative job agencies. They should bring any persons, private business organisations, or even their agencies to account in the event of sale of employment forms or perpetration of acts directly suggestive of job-offer dubieties. Also, they should disallow their agencies from involvement in this deviousness so that they can have the moral temerity to punish offenders.

   If this is unchecked, the students who passed through harrowing experiences of being financed, or financing themselves through education; labouring to make admission requirements after countless attempts, will definitely face palpable trauma. The student, who passed through daunting challenges taking JAMB as many as three times for very lucky and intelligent ones, passing and finally getting admitted, going through the rigours of courses and lecturers’ demands, finally graduating despite these odds, serving the nation patriotically one whole year in what is termed “Now Your Suffering Commences” (NYSC) and coming out to face unemployment, the frustration associated with this, to say the least, is better experienced than imagined.

   If the ugly scenario is not to continue, the countries educational system must be structured in a way that will emphasise science and technology that will make for skills acquisition to guarantee self-employment on graduation if the elusive paid employment persists. Those who are not science or mathematics inclined must try to combine their courses of study with practical/vocational skills acquisition under part-time apprenticeship arrangement. This way, they can be usefully engaged even while awaiting the so-called elusive employment. Thankfully, entrepreneurship studies have been introduced in our tertiary education curriculum. Students should maximize the inherent benefits. National Directorate of Employment (NDE) must set up accessible and comprehensive skills acquisition centres for the teeming unemployed to aspire to be self-employed.

   The young graduates cannot easily create meaningful jobs or businesses and become employers of labour if they are not sufficiently empowered by relevant agencies or organisations. Their lots cannot be reversed if job offers allocated based on quota system to reflect federal character are cornered by a privileged few. The status quo will remain if the economic, political and social environments leave little to cheer. Addressing this vexatious issue of unemployment will remain a mirage if job vacancies are not sought on a level playing field devoid of selfish inclinations and other parochial cleavages. This gloom will increasingly be enduring if graduates that are massively shunned out yearly are not employable as a result of possessing undeserving, or sorted certificates. This ugly picture cannot radically change if the youths continue to hate embracing agriculture so as to be potential fishery giants, poultry specialists, horticulturists, root crops gurus, and so on. Unemployment will live longer with us if our young graduates continue to see politics as an industry-in-waiting to absorb them soon after graduation without waiting patiently to mature into politics.  No change will be directly observable if organisations dispense with youth corps members at the end of every service year without plans for their absorption.

   Hurdles placed on the way of job seekers to securing employment must be dismantled. These barriers include reluctance of workers who may be due for retirement to quit employment preferring instead to stay on under the cover of assumed-age sworn to in court. Yes, this is part of our odd times where working parents would prefer eternal parenting of their aged sons and daughters instead of retiring to give way to enable these graduates earn a living with their higher and excellent degrees. Some employees, through their unions, are agitating scaling up their retirement periods to enable them last longer in service. This slows down or stultifies career progression that gives no room for fresh entrants into the system.

   Job adverts from the onset also scheme out new job seekers as experience usually demanded is far beyond their reach. Five years cognate working experience from a 22-year old fresh graduate is ridiculous. This forces most of them to make do with menial jobs with low remuneration and consequent dampened optimism about the future.

   Making business out of the predicaments of job seekers is manifestly bad business. Ripping off these hapless victims of exploitation is a sin. It is unconscionable, criminal and heightens the frustration associated with highly raised expectation of useful life that goes with graduation, which comes crashing owing to absence of gainful employment thereafter. Viewed from diverse ramifications, business of unemployment is clearly the lure of filthy lucre, which only the agents of exploitation and morally deficient characters will find attractive. They must be called to order. They must not have their way always so as to save our teeming unemployed youths the frustration that pushes them into heinous crimes, which in turn make the society insecure for all.

Concluded.                                                                             

Obasi is of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ebonyi State. 

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