As lobbying goes into overdrive a simple survey this morning sought views from the public on what key issues a new government should address
Number one on the list is youth unemployment.
While official statistics are not readily available it is understood the current rate of youth unemployment is above 80% - quite possibly the highest in the region and perhaps globally.
“I graduated in 2016, I had a job with an NGO but only for a year,” said 26 year old Silas Kona, a graduate from USP.
“I have been without a job for close to two years now, so I have been just selling stuff online, some for people for a commission, but mostly stuff I order from relatives abroad.”
He says his biggest issue is not having relevant experience for jobs that are being advertised.
Prospects for jobs are worse for school drop outs, a good number of them exit the formal education system at form 6 - equivalent to year 12.
“I have been selling betel nut since failing my form 6 exams, I also sell kwaso (an illegal home brew) but not always, abit risky but I just have to do it,” 19 year old Ray Filu said.
He says that his parents, one handicapped because of health issues, depend on him for their daily sustenance.
The Director at the Honiara Town Council youth division says that the issue with youth unemployment is more to do with the job market.
“For most graduates the only place they can find work is in the government sector, and to an extent NGOs, the private sector is still small, still growing.”
He says that the government should look at growing the private sector, give incentives for the sector to grow, particularly in the agricultural sector.