Posted by: nativeiowan | November 2, 2009

A private view

A Private View

There has been much said about the need to focus our attention on the “youth” of our Nation. There has been much said about the need to create jobs, the need to extend the commercial base from the Nation’s urban areas into the rural sector. There has been much said about the need to engage our youthful citizenry before we lose them.

Job creation is a difficult “nut to crack”. Especially in an Island Nation like ours. An Island Nation where the majority of our citizenry are rural based, minimally educated and growing at an aggressive rate.

It may be wise to review our situation before we “jump in the deep end” and start dreaming too much about “job creation”:

�     What kinds of jobs are we talking about, for the Solomons, right now? And into the future?

�     What impediments are we facing that inhibit or prohibit job creation?

�     Where should these jobs be?

�     What skill-sets do we need to a) immediately move to increase the total number of jobs available, and b) create new jobs into the foreseeable future?

From an Employer’s point of view there are a couple very strong positives, as well as a number of strong negatives, herein:

!   The employee-base we currently have is characterized by:

  • A low level of formal education
  • A high level of basic manual skills
  • A low level of technical skills
  • A keen sense of willingness

!   The job market we currently live in is characterized by:

  • Most positions offered are of a menial or manual labor nature
  • Short term or transient employment versus long term or career based employment
  • Jobs are centralized in a very few number of urban centers
  • Training being required for most positions above menial levels

So, from an employer’s point of view the easiest positions to fill are those that are unskilled. Any job an employer may have that require a skilled employee means that the employer must either import the skill-set required or train employees into the required skill-sets.

Training employees is an important part of business but there are detractors here, namely, the fact that employees do not traditionally stay with a single job for their whole career.  This means that an Employer must be prepared to train again and again to fill even basic jobs.

Additionally the fact that most jobs are concentrated in the urban centers means there are issues with housing, home leave allowances, wontoks, etc, etc.

This takes us back to our questions above:

�     What kinds of jobs are we talking about, for the Solomon’s, right now? And into the future?

  • The question here may be begging a two-fold answer; we need unskilled jobs now and we must raise our skill levels so we can field more skilled employees as we move forward.

�     What impediments are we facing that inhibit or prohibit job creation?

  • Again the answer is multifaceted; we need to review those laws that control employment aiming to make them modern and functional for both the Employees and the Employer while, consciously, bringing the mentality of both the Employer and the Employee (and the Government) into the 21st century.

�     Where should these jobs be?

  • We know that by default most jobs are in urban settings thus, perhaps, a dual approach of small business/ job creation in the rural areas combined with continued industrial and service based commercial developments into the urban areas.

�     What skill-sets do we need to a) immediately move to increase the total number of jobs available, and b) create new jobs into the foreseeable future?

  • Skilled employment is what we are in need of. But we are an agrarian society. A combination of career oriented Employees working in the skilled employment market AND unskilled, transient or seasonal Employees for sectors such as agriculture, logging, mining, etc.

It has been said in the press many times: The job of Central Government is to develop and maintain basic infrastructure and services. The job of the Private Sector is to create jobs. We need good roads, and more roads. We need wharfs, airstrips, a functioning telecommunication network, water, power, law and order.

The Private Sector of the Solomons has proven itself to be resilient, adaptable and committed. Private Business fuels the Central Government. The tripartite cooperation of the Government, the Employees and the Employers is required in order for consistent forward growth and positive gains to be made.

It is not a difficult formula.

Perhaps the tripartite backbone of the Nation, the Government, the Employees and the Employers should meet and discuss the future? No one of the three can effect change on their own. It requires a combined, premeditated cooperation of all three before we will see honest and sustainable changes, growth and benefits for all.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: