Employment demand, employability and the supply-side machinery : the case of the children of the liberation struggle of Namibia
Shivangulula, Shirley Euginia Ndahafa Uvatera
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Over the past four years, growing volumes of media literature centre staged the Namibian economy with the dilemma of the ‘Children of the Liberation Struggle of Namibia’ (CoLSoN) in their resilient protest for employment. Yet, amid such chronicled portrayal and persistent social, economic and political discourse, the underpinnings of the plight of the CoLSoN for labour market participation received vigorous scholarly inattention and remained scientifically unexplored. This study, therefore, contributes to the body of knowledge on the employability, employment prospects and vulnerability to unemployment, and public policy interventions depicting the unemployed CoLSoN in Namibia. The Researcher situated the study in a post-positivist paradigm. Positioned in the Human Capital Theory, the study utilised the employability theory to examine the employability of the unemployed CoLSoN. The study employed the conceptual framework of employment prospects and vulnerability to unemployment to investigate the domains responsible for the low employment prospects and vulnerability to unemployment of the unemployed CoLSoN. Drawing on the theory of search and match, the study examined the typology of the supply-side effort of Government to establish the controlling of the ensuing disequilibrium of the demand-supply side efforts. The study employed a concurrent mixed method design comprising quantitative and qualitative schemes of inquiry, and drew a sample size of 605 unemployed CoLSoN through the simple random probability sampling procedure to respond to a 76-item survey instrument. Additionally, the study drew a purposive sub sample of 50 CoLSoN and two organisations to amplify the experiences of the unemployed CoLSoN and inform of the policy options directed to their plight through semi-structured interviews. The study analysed the quantitative data utilising the ANOVA, Multiple regression techniques, Spearman correlation and t-test of the SPSS software. Qualitative data analysis occurred through the application of thematic categorisation. The study found that fierce labour market demands and administrative malice delay the transition into the labour market of the unemployed CoLSoN. The interviews revealed intergenerational poverty transmission a distant, but potent dynamic of degenerating individual qualities among the unemployed CoLSoN for employability. The ANOVA sustained the postulation that low employability traits are not equally prevalent in all the age groups of the unemployed CoLSoN. Estimates indicate that a mere investment in the education of the unemployed CoLSoN would improve their generic employability by about 11%. The study recommends the exercise of employability as an Active Labour Market Policy to balance the demand-supply-side inconsistencies of the labour market that exclude the disadvantaged from participating therein. The study further recommends the reinforcement of institutional audit procedures to control the inaptness of intentional administrative barriers to the labour market participation of the CoLSoN. The study also recommends the granting of fiscal incentives to the private sector for a speedy absorption of the CoLSoN into the labour market. That way, the low employment prospects among the unemployed CoLSoN would contract. Their employability for labour market participation would augment, invigorating them to take charge of their lives and curb poverty transmission to the next generations.