A silent problem

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Youth unemployment continues to increase in SI

 

BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

YOUTH unemployment in Solomon Islands continues to increase, a report shows.

70 percent of Solomon Islands’ population are youths, and the Solomon Islands Youth Status Report 2018 report shows a majority of youths only reach lower levels in the education system.

One reason which stands out, especially for females, is that they get married in their early or mid-20s; another factor which impacts their chances of getting employment.

The report also states that young mothers in particular are less likely to be able to participate in work and the economy.

In the 2009 census, young mothers in rural areas produced goods for their own consumption (56 percent), but most urban teenage mothers were doing unpaid domestic work (60 percent).

Only 17 percent of young mothers were in paid employment – 28 percent of those in urban areas and 16 percent of those in rural areas.

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The report also highlighted their options are limited due to childcare responsibilities and lower levels of education

Meanwhile, average age at first marriage in Solomon Islands is 23.3 years of age for women and 27.1 for men.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), youth unemployment rate is at over 35 percent.

Although this is difficult to measure precisely because of informal work, patterns of shifting between agriculture and informal business, variable incomes and lack of data on livelihood incomes, certain sectors such as retail and journalism have generally young workforces but they also tend to be low-paid, the report shows.

Recently, Solomon Islands Government launched the National Youth Policy 2017—2030.

In the policy, it spells out areas for addressing Solomon Islands’ youth unemployment which are particularly focuses on youth entrepreneurships.

With that, SIG also set agreements with Australia, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand in terms of Labour mobility with aim to address youth unemployment rate which currently rise in the country.

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