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“Job application stats worry this millennial”
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“Job application stats worry this millennial”

Unemployment rates are alarming for young millennials, writes Aura Whittier, 17, a Correspondent from San Juan, Trinidad.  She worries that ever-higher education is not a hedge against the difficulties of finding work in one’s chose field. 

My uncle received a National Scholarship from the government of Trinidad and Tobago to pursue an undergraduate degree, after successfully sitting his A-Level examinations.

Later on, he decided to continue onto a Master degree, the cost of which, by the way, he is still paying off as debt. Over the years, he has been an international employee. He has worked in many Caribbean islands, several countries in the Middle East, the United States, and jobs in other locations as well.

He has had a wonderful career, and he is still young. But unfortunately, his career seems to be over. My uncle’s contract in Kuwait finished over two years ago, and has been living at home with my family since. Over these two years, he has spent his days sitting at the same desk and chair, sending out approximately 5000 applications to job postings in over 150 countries. My uncle is still unemployed.

It does not really matter what sector he is in, so I will not say, because the job market is the same across many sectors. With a growing global population and increasing consumerism, why does the job market seem so saturated? Why does the idea of getting a desirable job in your field and meeting your qualifications seem like a fairy tale?

I am only a 17-year-old millennial, and on paper it looks like I have a bright future ahead of me. I am studious and somewhat involved in the community. I have plans and I know what I want my life to look like.

But, is that enough? A bachelor degree will not get me a job and then again, even though I’m striving for a PhD, I am still not convinced that will be enough. There are clearly jobs out there and I may get a job, but how long will it last? Will I feel secure? How do I start a family, start a career and build my life with the threat of losing my job hanging over my every dollar spent?

Unemployment destroys families, it causes tension, stress, conflict – and from personal experience I can tell you that if the financial burden is too overwhelming, it can lead to divorce.

Even though my uncle has sterling qualifications and several years of work experience, he finds it terribly difficult to become employed. To make matters worse, if the national unemployment rate is much lower than the rate of unemployment for millennials[1], I definitely do not like my chances.

In the Caribbean, I fear for the people of our young generation, who have slim chances of job security. I fear for the economies of these islands and for the welfare of the population.

The implications of unemployment lead far beyond job insecurity and lower quality of life. They go beyond that, into one of the greatest challenges in the Caribbean: the links among unemployment, youth criminal activity and poverty.

The apparent high levels of criminal activity within these tropical getaways, however, is an entirely new problem, for an entirely new article…

[1] https://futurechallenges.org/local/generation-screwed-why-there-are-no-jobs-for-young-people/

photo credit: carianoff Hlpwntd via photopin (license)
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About me: I am a business student and a future developmental economist hopeful. I love to learn about and analyse social issues and how they relate to my study, but also to my own underlying ethical values. I have a keen interest in youth empowerment, involvement and development. As such, I spend the majority my free time tutoring disadvantaged youth and participating in self-development youth programs. Of course, I also spend a significant amount of time reading and writing.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response? To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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[1] https://futurechallenges.org/local/generation-screwed-why-there-are-no-jobs-for-young-people/

 

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