Youth Forum lobbies govt on jobs

The Youth Forum has embarked on a campaign to lobby government to fulfil its mandate to create employment for youths.

Dubbed “From concern to Action", the campaign aims at drawing the attention of government and other stakeholders to important policy considerations that will help create jobs and other economic opportunities for young people in the country.

Involving a number of stakeholders among them Buy Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council of Trade Union, the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute and the parliamentary portfolio committee on youth, the campaign seeks to ensure that government moves from empty rhetoric and promises to action.

Tracy Gatawa, the forum’s Senior Programmes Officer, said the organisation had drafted a position paper to be presented to Parliament soon.

“Our campaign is not about reinventing the wheel or the existing policies but building on existing structures and policies that have been put in place by government and other stakeholders towards promoting employment creation,” she said.

The forum plans to create a platform for dialogue between policy makers and youths to map the way forward on how best they can implement policies to ensure employment creation.

“More than 300,000 graduates entering the job market annually are turned into vendors. It is clear that the government has to do something to better their lives,” said Gatawa.

“Nearly 15 years into the new millennium, Zimbabwean youths continue to be among those worst affected by the seemingly never-ending economic difficulties the country is going through,” she said.

She said because the country’s economic performance is forcing young people into the informal economy where they are engaging in various activities from operating stalls, vending, cross-border trading, artisanal mining to touting, it was important for government to come up with interventions targeting youths to ensure their economic growth.

“It would be instructive to discuss some of the key barriers to productive employment and economic opportunities for young people in the country and these suggestions should include the input of youths.”

Formed in 2004, the Youth Forum serves as a unified voice for youths across the country, and has developed a number of initiatives aimed at informing young people of their basic civil and political rights, as well as creating platforms for them to be able to be heard.

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