Youth Shoura Council tackles unemployment [Archives:2008/1185/Local News]

August 28 2008

SANA'A, Aug. 26 ) In tandem with government efforts to tackle youth unemployment, Yemen's Youth Shoura (Consultative) Council, or YCC, held a three-day session at the Shoura Council to discuss a 2006 strategy report presented by the Civil Services Ministry.

The report cited lack of government jobs, the role of the private sector, lack of cooperation between ministries and favoritism as the main reasons for youth unemployment in Yemen.

Mohammed Al-Kabab, head of the Shoura Council's political committee, opened the session, saying, “This youth council represents a very interesting initiative that deserves care and interest.”

He went on to say, “The YCC promotes a greater exchange of leadership experience between youth and political leaders from one generation to another. This generation's problems are different from the past, particularly in terms of unemployment.” During the discussions, YCC members cited facts that demand the Yemeni government provide more jobs. For example, the Civil Service Ministry received 132,000 job applications in 2006, but only 8,000 jobs were available.

Commenting on this, YCC vice president Wojoud Mejalli noted, “That isn't even 10 percent of the number of applicants, so how can young people find work with such a dismal percentage?”

Council members also stressed the importance of the private sector and its role in helping to decrease unemployment. Faris Al-Himyari, head of the YCC's media and culture committee, said, “It's important to talk more about the private sector's role and seek better cooperation between the public and private sectors. We're talking about the future here, so I believe it's important for all sides and parties to help build a safe one.”

In the council's final statement, members indicated that there should be more cooperation between all educational bodies in Yemen, adding that they look forward to creating a better future for young Yemenis by providing them more jobs.

As Mejalli stated, “Yemen's Ministry of Higher Education and the Civil Services Ministry should have a strategy of cooperation so that college graduates will be able to find jobs. This also would help dispel the many unacceptable phenomena that are growing in this country, one of which is terrorism.”

The YCC noted that such violence mostly results from unemployment and that more cooperation would be a definitive solution. Civil Services Ministry representative Adnan Ahmed maintains that many Yemeni students choose to study difficult specialities. “For example, if a student studies history, he or she may only be able to teach, so what if there's no need for history schoolteachers? We can't do anything about such cases. Thus, we need more doctors and engineers because such jobs are always available.”

Adnan Ahmed went on to say, “Also in the 2006 report, we addressed the issue of favoritism, which is a very common problem in Yemen. Most graduates can't find jobs because those with social or political power install their relatives in government positions instead of others.”

He added, “It's a very transparent report and we're looking forward an even better report for 2007.”

The YCC meets every six months to discuss youth issues specified by either the YCC presidential board or the general secretariat panel. The panel holds a monthly meeting to discuss the tasks and achievements of council committees, which operate year round.

The council publishes a quarterly publication documenting its activities and discussing youth issues.

The YCC is a national youth organization consisting of 111 members representing various NGOs, political parties and national education organizations. Its mission is to encourage a spirit of volunteerism among youths and provide them opportunities to participate in civil society and social work.