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CAUSES OF UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG THE YOUTH: A CASE STUDY OF MANYANYA VILLAGE IN BUSIA DISTRICT
The youths are universally recognized as an important part of any society by both global and local programmes as well as institutions. For example the United Nations put aside every twelfth day of August of every year as an International Youth Day. In Uganda, National Youth Council which has a full secretariat from National level (Parliament) to village level, clearly spells out that youth be represented at all levels of decision making. In Manyanya, youths are also represented by their youth councilors and also assisted by several technical people such as RDCs, LCs among others. Sadly, in spite of all these efforts, there is very little evidence on ground to show that youth have been fully empowered although many have attained tertiary education. The rate of unemployment is still alarming. Not many studies have been undertaken to establish the causes, effects and solutions to such high unemployment rate.
The study used both qualitative and quantitative research methods with a sample size of 50 respondents of whom were 30 were youths, 15 civil servants, 4 parents and a local council 1 Chairperson of the community. A questionnaire was mainly used for data collection where questions were answered by the use of a tick in the provided space/box as well as filling in answers directly in the dashes provided.
The study findings revealed that unemployment affects more male youth than females. The major causes of unemployment identified in this study were: low levels of education, lack of adequate skills, job selectivity, limited job opportunities, as well as bad government policies. Effects included: Poor standards of living, high crime rate, limited basic services, high dependency, and limited access to resources. The study concluded that most of the respondents have ever gone to school and very few who never had education but a big proportion of them were all affected by unemployment. Proposed strategies included government commitment, vocational training, credit provision, and increased access to resources.
The study therefore recommends that the government should increase social services in education, should review its policies with a view to making them youth employment friendly. That the government should also reform the education curricula in both secondary and vocational schools to emphasize skills development, increased investment in industries as well as curriculum. Youth must be sensitized to be willing to take on any lawful economic activity so long as it is profitable. Stakeholders should also establish vocational training institutions where the youth can acquire skills in various activities such as carpentry, brick making, and entreprenural skills among others.
This chapter presents a background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, scope, and significance of the study.
According to the Commonwealth(2007), youth is a person aged 15 to 29; UN take youth to be persons aged 14 to 25 whereas the National Youth Policy defines youth as all young person’s female and male, aged 12 to 30 years (Balunzi, 2001).
The International Labour Organization defines unemployed youth as the proportion of the youth labour force that is unemployed. The unemployed comprise all persons above a specified age who, during the reference point, were: without work, currently available for work and actively seeking work. The labour force therefore is the sum of the number of persons employed and the number of persons unemployed.
In 2007, the UN secretary general Kofi Annan noted that there were approximately 66 million unemployed youth in the world today, an increase of nearly 10million since 1965 (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2004).
The UNFPA state of the world’s population 2005 report says that nearly half the world’s population (about 3 billion) are under the age of 25.Of these, about 500 million are youth (people aged 15-24). Globally, more than one billion jobs need to be created to accommodate young workers entering the labour force and reduce the increasing unemployment rate. Since the 1970s, young people had become increasingly over represented among the unemployed in developed and developing nations. A Commonwealth Youth Program report (1996) summarized the situation when it pointed out that young people are too frequently subject to a disproportionate burden of unemployment.
According to the UNPHC (2002), persons aged 15-19 years constitute about 29% of the 21.6 million of the population. Of these, females constitute 51% and males 49%. Most of the youths live in rural areas; but a significant number migrate to urban areas in hope of finding employment. However, most of the youth fail to get jobs and end up in urban slums and streets. They engage in unproductive or anti-social activities like prostitution, thuggery, drugs and substance abuse thereby increasing pressure on the few urban facilities and amenities, (National Youth Policy, 2001).
Although in 1986 the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government made a radical departure in organizing the youth and put in place structures to empower them socially and economically, these have not been accompanied by sufficient resources. Both the department responsible for youth and the National Youth Council lack adequate resources. While a number of measures have been adopted to address the concerns of the youth such as skills and enterprise development programs, the efforts are still insufficient to meet the varied needs of the majority of the youth, (Youth Entrepreneurial Schemes (YES), 2002). It should also be noted that unlike in the past (1980s to 1990s) many youth serving organizations and Community Based-Organizations (CBOs) emerge which, while doing commendable jobs, work independently of each other (Balunzi, 2001).
To eradicate unemployment, Uganda requires creating 600,000 jobs every year yet the current investments generate only 2000 jobs every year. There is therefore need for awareness and build an adequate understanding of issues by the government to enhance youth employment opportunities through entrepreneurship skills development, increased investments in industries; curriculum also has to be invested to emphasize knowledge base. (Commonwealth Youth Forum, (CYF), 2007).
Manyanya village located 18 kilometers west of Busia town is a shadow of the mineral wealth it holds and the strategic location of nearness to the boarder. The people wallow in abject poverty manifested in the grass thatched hats in homes and schools. Residents wear rags and over 67% of the people live on less than a dollar a day.The most affected are youths. (Uganda Bureau of Statistics(UBOS), 2011).In spite of the gold mines licensed to a South African firm 16 years ago by the government, the community still suffers high rates of unemployment, poor school and hospital infrastructure, poor roads, among others.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The youths are universally recognized as an important part of any society. To this end, both global and local programs as well as institutions have focused efforts upon the youths. For example, the United Nations has set aside every twelfth day of August of every year as an International Youth Day. This was all intended to mobilize local and international attention towards the youth and the problems they face particularly unemployment. In Uganda, the National Youth Council which has a full secretariat both from the National level (Parliament) to the village level, clearly spells out that youth be represented at all levels of decision making. In Manyanya, youths are also represented by their youth councilors and also assisted by several technical people such as LCs and other civil servants such as RDCs, a fully elected Member of Parliament, among others. Sadly, in spite of all these efforts, there is very little evidence on ground to show that youth have been empowered although many have attained tertiary education. The rate of unemployment is alarming. Not many studies have been undertaken to establish the causes, effects as well as solutions to such high unemployment rate.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to find out the causes of youth unemployment in Manyanya village in Busia district.
1.4 Objectives of the study
The study was broken down into the following objectives;
1 To identify the causes of youth unemployment.
2 To find out the effects of unemployment among the youth in the area.
3 To propose solutions towards youth unemployment.
1.5 Scope of the study
The study was carried out in Manyanya village in Busia district mainly around public areas such as markets, football grounds and streets. It also worked hand in hand with various people among these were; youths, elders, community civil servants L.Cs among others. The study was carried out between the month of May and June 2011. It also utilized ideas from other researchers and or authors concerning the causes, effects as well as possible solutions to youth unemployment.
1.6 Significance of the study
The findings of this study are expected to help the government realize the importance of making policies that are favorable so as to increase youth employment opportunities as well as participation.
The findings are also further expected to sensitize local authorities and other stakeholders on the importance of considering youth key to the success of any development initiative. The results of the study are further expected to awaken the youth on the dangers of unemployment
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