Mogadishu job fairs open opportunities for graduatesPhoto | Nabila Hussein working at Iftin office/Aweys Aar/Ergo
(ERGO) - Careers fairs organised by local groups in Mogadishu have begun opening job opportunities for local university graduates, especailly women, many of whom had been unemployed for several years.
The latest event on 10-11 November run by Fursad Fund, a trust supported by Somali benefactors, attracted around 1,900 graduates and students from local universities. Ismail Farah Mohamed, head of job creation at Fursad Fund, said 190 of the young people were employed after the fair.
An earlier careers fair run by local NGO Iftin on 30 October drew 262 young people, with 50 female and 50 male graduates finding jobs.
The fairs connect graduate or student job seekers to employers, who have submitted details of vacancies to be filled. The fairs offer an opportunity for the employers to meet and interview candidates and to recruit.
Samira Abdi Hassan, 26, got her first job since graduating in business management from Simad University in 2013 at a careers fair for women held in Mogadishu in March 2015.
“I got this job when I needed it the most and to be honest it has changed the living standards of my family tremendously,” said Samira. She is working in the marketing department of a local construction company, SETAC. Samira is able to help her mother, a fruit vendor in Madina market, by paying high school fees of $15 a month for each of her three younger siblings.
Abidkadir Maalim Mohamed, head of Iftin’s Fursad project, said 774 female graduates from universities in Banadir, Puntland, Galmudug, Jubbaland, South West, and Hirshabelle attended the careers fair last year. Around 200 got jobs in businesses, telecommunications companies, local media, hospitals and other centres mostly in Mogadishu.
“We came up with the idea of organizing the event when we saw how many educated youth, especially young women, were unemployed and staying at home demoralized, while others were migrating,” Abdikadir said.
Nabila Hussein Da’ud told Radio Ergo she got a job in January as a result of attending the fair. Her post as secretary with Iftin in Mogadishu enables her to reduce the financial burden on her elder sister, who used to support her. She had been unemployed for more than a year after graduating in mathematics from Mogadishu University.
“When you graduate you hope you’ll be able to become self-sufficient. When I got this job, I finally became self-sufficient,” Nabila said. She is using some of her salary to pay for her master’s degree fees of $206 a month.
A survey conducted by Iftin in 2015 showed more than 5,500 graduates entered the job market that year. Fewer job opportunities, poor preparation of students for the market by universities, and the fact that many students pursue courses that are not in demand by employers are some of the factors behind the high youth unemployment rates in the country.
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