Sunday, 22 April 2012 22:32
School’s Out! What Now?Written by Editor
As the Easter vacation ends, many school leavers have more on their minds than CXC and CAPE. They are wondering what they are going to do after exams.
The outlook does not appear bright even in the face of the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook report. The IMF forecasts “moderate” growth of 3.75 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) this year and 4 per cent in 2013. Specifically, the Caribbean economy is expected to grow by 3.5 per cent. This good news is however constrained by the assessment that, “High public debt and weak tourism and remittance flows continue to constrain the outlook for the Caribbean.”
The truth is unemployment remains relatively high and the job market sluggish. The Class of 2012 will be greeted by a fiercely competitive job market where demand overwhelmingly exceeds supply.
Government has long been depended on to absorb most of the school leavers into its ranks; but with the state of the public debt and IMF commitments, that will probably not be the case this year.
In order to alleviate the situation, the private sector will have to step up in the area of job creation. However, with increased costs and dwindling returns, private sector employers might be unwilling or unable to do much.
Additionally, while those with qualifications might be able to find employment even under adverse conditions, those without qualifications (CXC, CAPE) are especially vulnerable.
Studies have shown that adverse socio-economic effects of high youth unemployment. It is hoped that even as the students study hard to prepare for their exams – some beginning as early as May 5th - that our leaders and economic planners are coming up with strategies to offset or control the rate of youth unemployment and its potential effects.
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