Malawiâ€™s consumer welfare think tank, the Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) has bemoaned the high levels of unemployment and underemployment among the youth in the country.
CfSC has since asked Malawi government to address the situation.
In its July report, the centre said while the youth have potential to contribute positively to personal and national development, Malawi has not fully utilised them.
Reads the report in part: “Currently, the many youths in Malawi are trapped in low-productivity, temporary or other types of work that fall short of their aspirations and that often do not open opportunities to move to more permanent, higher-productivity and better-paid positions.
“Worse still, available job openings are limited by small formal sectors and youths do not necessarily possess the right skills to qualify for the existing openings,” it adds.
The International Labour Office (ILO 2012) report on Global Employment Trends for Youth, shows that youth unemployment is on the increase worldwide and projected to reach 12.7 percent this year from 12.6 percent in 2011.
“With a population estimated at 15.2 million [World Bank, 2012], Malawi continues to face demographic challenges as its population of young people keeps on increasing against a backdrop of high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment,” says the centre in its assessment.
The centre says government should develop active labour market programmes and policies tailored for specific needs of the youth.
The suggested programmes and policies include direct employment generation by promoting small enterprise development, cooperatives, wage subsidies, public works and guaranteed job schemes.
It also suggests that there should be labour exchanges or employment services facilitating young peopleâ€™s transition into the labour market through job brokerage and counselling office.