The news that the government has enforced a recruitment freeze for most public service positions has come as a big blow to recent graduates.
Jason Gagame is a 25-year-old who recently graduated with a combined Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics and Law. He comes from Malaita province, but the pursuit of a good education has kept him in Honiara and, most recently, overseas in Fiji where he was pursuing tertiary studies.
He said he was looking forward to contributing to the country once he completed his studies, but the news of a recruitment freeze means that he must wait a little longer.
He said he was one of the first few students to be repatriated home last year having successfully completed his final units.
On arrival Jason said he turned to volunteer work to keep himself busy, while he searched for a job. He said despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic he was optimistic about getting a full-time job in 2021.
"After I finished my studies my family were looking forward for me to get a job and support them, but it is now difficult.
"I tried to apply for a few jobs early this year but when I saw the news it was just so heartbreaking,” a disappointed Jason said.
"But I promised my family that still I will find other ways to support them," he added.
Despite such disappointments Jason says that he will continue to do community work and other small freelancing jobs.
"I have been doing small gigs as part of my love for photography and the biggest part was helping out with community work in the rural areas.
"I believe in community work and I am happy that the knowledge I have is given back to the community to ensure that rural people can better understand issues," Jason said.
Jason says he is currently doing volunteer work with organizations such as Oxfam, Development Service Exchange (DSE) and Young Human Rights group. His love for photography has also gotten him paid work with other organizations.
The government announced early this month that there will be a freeze on new recruitments for the public service sector effective on January 1st, 2021.
The Permanent Secretary of the Public Service, Nego Sisiolo, stated that the measure is taken to address the unnecessary expansion of the workforce, which contributes to wastage of scarce resources.
He says it is also necessary to stabilize workforce growth and payroll pressure in the medium term. He explained that it is also an opportunity to undertake performance audits to ensure efficiency in delivery of services.
The recruitment moratorium will be in place from January 1st, 2021 until further notice.