Skills mismatch worsening—ILO

Post was last updated: October 30, 2015

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says the emphasis by employers to find candidates with the right skills or experience to fill job vacancies without themselves offering training to match the job requirements has aggravated skills mismatch.

The international labour body says the end result is that an increasing number of young people in developing economies like Malawi are taking up employment for which they are overqualified thereby defeating efforts to achieve sustainable development as there is a loss of valuable skills for the young person and the countries also forfeits higher economic productivity.

In its recently released Global Employment Trends for Youth 2015, ILO the ILO has also found that aside from the skills mismatch, employers are also not ready to meet income requirements of youth with Tertiary qualifications.

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, ILO says youth who completed their tertiary education are between two and three times likely to be unemployed that youth with primary education or less as the high education brings with it an income bias that industry is not willing to meet.

In an earlier interview, Principal of the Malawi College of Accountancy Agrippah Phiri said employers in Malawi also have a duty to train new recruits, including graduates, in order to equip them with relevant skills as part of efforts to deal with the mismatch between skills of job seekers and vacancies.

Phiri said it is unfair to expect a graduate who has been equipped with only the theoretical aspect of the job to perform in the absence of an orientation.

The ILO, however notes that in low income economies, the under education of young workers still remains a significant concern and an important hindrance to transformative growth.

“Results are particularly disheartening in sub-Saharan Africa where three in five young workers, representing a 61.4 percentage rate, do not have the level of education expected to make them productive on the job,” says ILO in the report.

Looking forward, the labour body says breaking the cycle of low access to quality education and low income earning prospects with renewed efforts towards investment in quality education from pre-primary through tertiary levels must remain a primary focus in the development agenda.

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