Monday, August 22, 2011


The education system programs the minds of both students and parents to look forward to paid jobs after graduating from school. Unfortunately the majority of young people cannot get jobs because there aren’t enough jobs for everyone.

I have talked with many young people who roam the streets of centres like Goroka, Hagen, Lae and Moresby, and I have discovered that all of them had been to school at some stage. Many had dropped out, while a good number had completed their education, meaning they had attained certificates and diplomas. I have found degree holders on the streets too! The problem facing all of them is that they have not been able to find the jobs they had expected (or rather been led to expect).

I have reflected on the plight of these people, who I believe now number in the hundreds of thousands and are everywhere in the country. These are human beings, full of raw energy and potential, but that potential is being utilized for destructive purposes and not building up this nation due to hopelessness and despair. Most of them have admitted to stealing for a living. Some of them have even expressed how unfairly they are viewed and treated by other members of society. While they steal to survive each day, others who are already well-to-do steal millions and are allowed to get away with it. This adds to their frustration.

I have also had the privilege of providing advice to a large number of former drug addicts in the Western Highlands Province who are members of an organization called Operation Rausim Drugs Inc. The majority of members of this group (including females!) are school leavers who sought solace in drugs after job searching proved unfruitful.

The few of us who are privileged to hold jobs or own businesses, live in good houses behind razor-wire fences, drive around in air-conditioned vehicles, dine in hotels and restaurants etc, can feel the anger of the under-privileged in the air. You may be a highly-paid and well-respected high-flyer in your office, but you don’t feel safe on the streets which are increasingly under the control of the have-nots. Today you cannot move around without constantly looking over your back, or expecting a road block at every corner of our highways.

The situation is getting worse by the year, as the education system continues to produce over 50,000 school leavers while the public and private sectors can cater for only 10,000 people in terms of providing them with jobs. Education in this country for the majority of those coming out of school is a dead-end road. It is like a river over-shooting its banks when it floods. Educated but unemployed young people are filling both the rural and urban areas, and are literally spilling onto the streets.

I have been conducting motivational seminars for students and youth groups for a few years now. One thing I have come to appreciate is that most of our young people already know what they need to do. What they lack is encouragement to believe in themselves and to actually do what they already know is good for them. They need to be lifted on the inside, given a little push from the back, and provided some indication as to where they need to go. In other words, they need inspiration, motivation and direction.

Every young person needs to be told that not getting a job (or getting sacked from a job) is not the end of the world, and that the closing of one door means the opening of another. They need assurance that becoming a drop-out or not being able to get a paid job is an opportunity, not a problem. It is really a blessing in disguise. It is an opportunity life is offering them to combine the little knowledge they have gained from school with their physical strength, time and natural talents to start their own businesses and become their own bosses. As I tell church people, man’s disappointments are God’s appointments.

This is my message to you if you are a school drop-out or unemployed youth reading this article. You’ve got to be positive about your prospects in life. You’ve got to believe in yourself that you can carve out a living for yourself in the midst of all the seemingly insurmountable problems that surround you. You have been positively engineered and wired to succeed, so don’t be negatively geared in your mind. You’ve got to think a little different from the crowd you hang out with. You’ve got to think a bit deeper than you have been thinking up to now. You have a future ahead of you. Don’t short-circuit it with negative and shallow thinking.

If you care to look around you, you will realize that most self-made successful people started out with little education and little money. In fact, adversities like being drop-outs or getting terminated unexpectedly pushed them into business. I myself started out as a freelance consultant with less than K500 after my employer forced me to resign. I am living much better as my own boss than I would have as an employee. If I and such people have been able to make it, so can you. You just have to believe that you can do it too.

If you are a student attending the University of Goroka, University of Technology, University of PNG and Divine Word University, I encourage you to come to a free motivational seminar I will be conducting. The tentative dates are:

9th August – UoG
13th August – Unitech
27th August - UPNG
To be advised - DWU

The topic is ‘Becoming Your Own Boss’. I will be discussing why students need to think about starting their own businesses, followed by seven basic steps to business start-up. My objective is to present business as a viable option to a paid job, knowing that the majority of the participants will not be able to get jobs immediately upon graduation. I know from experience that the seminar will be a destiny-making experience for some students.

The seminar is my small contribution to addressing unemployment and the associated social and law and order problems in the country. When our young people are busy running their own businesses, they will have no time to create problems for the rest of us. And the more young people get into business, the brighter our corporate future.

It is my contribution to encouraging more national business people in light of the present situation where 90% of businesses in the country are in the hands of foreign entities after 36 years of independence. PNG may be a rich country, but if the wealth is controlled by foreigners, we will end up poor in the future.

Finally, it is my contribution to wealth creation under Vision 2050.


parmar ram said...
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parmar ram said...

Once you are able to attend the best motivational seminars for you, it would help you to overcome the challenges of your life.


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