Graduates urged to be own bosses
THERE?IS?A?WORRYING?TREND that thousands of graduates of tertiary level education are not able to find employment despite their qualifications.
And head of the department of management studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus Philmore Alleyne has suggested that more of them become entrepreneurs since that was “the answer” to the growing unemployment issue on the island.
As of December 2012, Barbados unemployment rate stood at 11.6 per cent.
Delivering welcome remarks during the award ceremony of the UWI CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development (SEED) programme, Alleyne said: “When I look at it in the context of the economy, where we are now faced with the deepest recession where there are layoffs, unemployment [and] high inflation, I believe that entrepreneurship could be an answer.”
He later told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY the continual rise in unemployment was “a problem”.
He said though, realizing that students were “no longer guaranteed a job”, the university, through the SEED programme and other schemes, was trying to “create the environment where people can start businesses”.
“It is not something that can be done only with the university; we have to partner with Government and the private sector to get all that is required put in place.
“We have a lot of people here in the university who come every year and say ‘I don’t know where I am going to get a job’. I had one student a couple of days ago that this is two years they have not been able to get a job although they have good qualification,” he said.
Alleyne, who is also the chairman of the SEED programme, acknowledged that while they were aware that not all new businesses would succeed “because of the ongoing recession”, they still had to “create the right environment”.
He identified technology and renewable energy as two of the growing markets.
“We can’t say we have actually tapped the areas for development but we are trying,” he added.
Meanwhile, a 2012 graduate of the SEED programme, Josiah Kirton, 27, said it was not a matter of could or might – “entrepreneurship has to take this country forward”.
“This is one of my bugbears: we can’t have thousands of people coming out all looking for work, someone has to be out there generating the places for our fellow young people to get jobs,” he said.
Describing it as an issue, Kirton said he knew of people who would have gone back to school after trying to find job for a year or more.
“I also know a few people who are considering going back to school for a certificate in the meantime, not necessarily university, just to upgrade their skill set during the recession. Some are part-time and some are not working,” he said. (MM)