“The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth” - Erasmus
Of course, no one wants to get their hands dirty and get sweaty but not every organisation or employers can be able to provide every youth job seekers with an office job so that they can stay comfort and clean. It is clearly shown that hospitality is not really the industry that most youth would prefer to work in. Their desired jobs are barely available in the industries here in Tonga because employers always preferred someone with lots of skills, experience, good qualifications which are features that most youth do not meet.
There is lack of employment and job training provided by the businesses to employed youth which will be a burden to us and our customers of trying to find the right candidate with the skills and experience to fill a position.
Sometimes employers require experience from youth, but how can we offer them staff with work experience if they are still looking for a job to gain work experience. As an HR and part of our recruitment team, it is part of my duties to investigate every youth to identify how both parties’ expectation can be achieved. It’s very challenging because we may find the candidate with skills and experience that will fit the job but the youth is not interested in that job. Some youth are interested in that job offered but they do not have the qualification, skills and mostly experience to meet the requirements of the position.
It is our traditional way of life, to just say something to please someone without expressing the truth behind it, or what they really want, because they might get mocked or turned down by people around them. Of course youth do not like to feel rejected either. It is these issues that we are facing with the youth when we offered them a job. They would say, "any job" but when we offered them with any job they reject it. Some youth are not completely honest with providing us with their information.
However, businesses who requested for male staff is also a challenge for us as there are less male registered seeking for job because majority of them are taken for the seasonal work scheme abroad offered by the government. At the same time, most unemployed male nowadays are just relying on women or girls for financial support. Young women are now also stepping up to take the role of being the head provider of the family which is a fact that should be taken into account.
Some youth are facing complications at home or they’ve experienced unstable housing such as growing up in a broken family with lack of knowledge about the perspective of being in a workplace environment. In today’s overview, there is qualification inflation and some graduated youth who were interviewed for a job opportunity do not somehow reflect their qualification. This can leave a question in our minds and that of the employers; “What have you been studied at school?
I would highly recommend that youth should be motivated by program to give them clear ideas of how important and what’s it like to be in a job and in a work environment. [This is where the TYEE Work Readiness program fits in as proven here in Tonga for the youth since 2016. Without the appropriate funding support - it is almost impossible to cater for the mass and the growing needs within].
From what I have observed, businesses should work closely together with youth how can they both be an asset to both parties through us linking them. Young male should also be empowered through giving them opportunities to express what they have been through in their own lives in order to provide them support.
People in general and employers always tend to judge youth without studying the reasons behind it so there is a need to look beyond why youth is acting the way they are before judging them. From that - we can figure out ways to support them through educating them to be professional in what they do in order to be employed and to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.