There is something utterly wrong with the way we plan job creation in this country. Even as we are already grappling with the challenge of excess supply of jobseekers, our methods to address the problems are further complicating the already grave employment situation in the country.
The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) introduced Position Classification System. At the front and centre of the move was to overhaul the system that had lived its time. And because the system was designed to bring improvement over the ‘archaic’ cadre system and to make civil service small, compact and efficient, this required civil servants to upgrade their qualification.
All’s fine until here. But how does the system help create employment space in the civil service? Civil service is still the biggest employer in the country because we have failed to strengthen our small and weedy private sector. And how fair is the classification system? Almost a decade since Position Classification System was introduced, it continues to generate rigorous debate.
Employment, or rather the absolute lack of it, has become a serious issue in the country. Efforts are being made to ameliorate the situation what with small grants and overseas employment opportunities. These immediate measures, however, do not guarantee long-term success, because along with good measures must also come encouraging financial opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
While we may find courage to applaud ourselves for being able to reduce the overall unemployment figure in the country, we have created vast pool of young people who are terminally unemployed. This will present unhealthy social development in the country. Already we are compelled to face growing youth problems, especially in the urban centres.
What is urgently necessary, therefore, is streamlining the systems to ease the bottlenecks that we face today. Only then will we be able to make our civil service strong, compact and efficient. Also, at the same time, we will have addressed youth unemployment situation commendably as we must.
It is crucial that we create a system that is fair to all. Civil servants who wish to upgrade their qualification should quit their job, complete their studies and compete with young graduates for civil service jobs. What is unfair to young graduates today is that they face competition from those who already hold job in the civil service. At the same time, civil servants who have qualified for RCSC slots after common examinations should be given the push to cross stagnation point in their career.
Unless we straighten these creases in the system out, unemployment scenario in the country will continue to grow. We need multisectorial initiatives to solve youth unemployment, which is perhaps, the greatest challenge of our time. Achieving this, we will also have effectively saved enormous government resources, particularly in education.