“Be your own boss” – Jordan pitches as solution to unemployment
By Devina Samaroo
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan says unemployed persons cannot depend on the government to create jobs and urged that they take steps to become their own bosses.
Jordan, during a news conference Monday, recognised that many University of Guyana graduates face severe challenges finding a job on the local market.
“The job market is a discriminating market. If you graduate from UG, no matter what, you can write all over the place and don’t get one reply. It’s not that they don’t have a job, they don’t want you,” he stated.
Jordan explained that companies prefer to raid other firms for experienced individuals to fill vacancies rather than hiring someone fresh out of college.
According to the Finance Minister, instead of trying to gain employment in a discriminatory market, persons should become their own entrepreneurs.
“The economic drivers will have to be nongovernment, whether civil society, the private sector or the individual. That is what we are trying to tell people. We want to create conditions for particularly small businesses to grow,” he said, chastising persons who made a mockery of President David Granger’s encouragement for persons to get involved in selling “plantain chips”.
“I see somebody scornfully in the papers talking about if everybody gonna be a plantain chip lady as if selling plantain is a beneath kind of activity. I like plantain chip,” he stated, noting that government has to now equip these small businesses with the knowledge and resources to expand their establishments.
“Not everybody can be a rocket scientist,” he noted.
The Minister maintained that government’s responsibility is not to supply employment vacancies to meet the increasing demand.
“We have to move away from this concept that the government is a providing of jobs. Government can provide jobs in relation to its critical functions but the government is not getting involved in economic business,” he posited.
He explained that the government’s aim is to implement measures to allow persons to become self-employed and such policies he said will be announced in the upcoming budget.