The agony of fresh graduates [Archives:2005/861/Community]

July 21 2005

By Mohamed. F. Ibrahim
[email protected]

Reading newspaper job advertisements is a very depressing exercise. The adverts are more about those who want to change employees, rather than those seeking employment. The minimum qualifications are the employers' blatant declaration that they do not want inexperienced graduates in their firms.

Employers must be less rigid and stop demanding unrealistic qualifications from job-seeking graduates. They must decide whether they want to employ only to maximise profits or to contribute to national development. The prime duty of a company in a developing country is to first distribute labour to deserving citizens before maximising profits.

It is a pity that employers are giving fresh university graduates a raw deal. When an employer requires applicants, they must have more than three or five years job experience, what chance do our unemployed graduates have?

What this boils down to is an arrogant way of declaring that those who graduate but do not work are not qualified to do what they were trained to do. We are surprised that the numerous groups of labour activists and others campaigning for human rights have never protested against such callous behaviour by employers.

Many will agree that obtaining a university degree is a herculean task. Graduation is the means of certifying that a person has become an expert in what he or she has been learning and is permitted to apply those skills for their individual advancement and national progress. The least the graduates expect is a chance to put their progressive ideas in practice.

The irony of our situation is that while we strive for new ideas and technological advancement, employers prefer old hands. They are shunning the potential modern technocrats for the old-fashioned veterans. That's why they ask for decades of experience. Shamefully, the labour market is reduced to an exclusive working class where veterans exchange jobs, effectively shutting out new entrants.

The intransigence of employers is perilous. Their only interest is their insatiable appetite and lust to earn as much money as possible, leaving in their wake destruction and disillusionment. Companies should demonstrate compliance to technological advancement by employing fresh graduates!