Majority of urban youths without jobs

National, Normal

The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013

 MORE than 70% of the urban youth population is unemployed, a report commissioned by PNG’s National Youth Commission has found.

Working in conjunction with the University of Papua New Guinea and the University of Western Sydney, the commission surveyed young people in six urban centres.

Ben Imbun, senior lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, told the Australian Broadcasting Commission yesterday the survey revealed that a large majority in Port Moresby, Lae, Goroko, Madang, Kokopo and Mount Hagen were out of work.

He said very few young people have fulltime paid jobs.

“Only 30% of youths in towns and cities in PNG (have jobs), meaning that most of them are public servants.

Imbun said that urban drift was a result of youths seeking jobs but there were other reasons.

“Nothing actually happens in the villages so what is happening with the education system in PNG is that everybody thought to get an ‘obvious job’.

“The vocational sector is underfunded so almost everybody thinks they will get an obvious job, a job in the city. 

“What actually drives the people to go to the towns and cities is that hardly anything is happening (in terms of employment) at the district level, village level meaning anything – cottage level industry or small industries – anything that people can preoccupy themselves.

“Virtually everyone (or 85% of the population) engages in subsistence farming. So after school they just want to leave (the villages).

“It’s not a lack of education. It’s a lack of initiatives and new ideas. There is a lack of immigrant communities bringing in new ideas to trigger (business) activities.

“So what is happening in PNG where mining and gas fields are emphasised, there is hardly anything happening in those towns and villages.

“It needs a big trigger in terms of new ideas, in terms of cottage industries.”