Shorter workday could cut unemployment of young professionals

04 мая 2013, 15:43

A shortened workday may be a way to lower unemployment rate among young people, reports citing Kazakhstan experts.

Raising of the retirement age for Kazakhstan women from 58 to 64 is expected to cause a jobs deficit for young people. The planned gradual rise of the retirement age for women will mean that there will be 30 percent less vacancies opening for new graduates in the next 10 years, KazPotrebNadzor's experts say

Deputy Director of Kazakhstan Center for Public Problems Analysis Kanat Berentayev said that it is possible to avoid this problem by shortening the workday. "It is necessary to consider shortening the workday. Currently a standard workday is 8 hours. It has to be shrunk to 5 hours. In this case we can hire people for the second shift," Berentayev said.

Berentayev believes that Kazakhstan lacks sufficient balance in the labor resources to tackle unemployment, since no calculations of highly demanded jobs and other jobs are being done. According to Berentayev, it is necessary to create a forecast and put together statistics and track the jobs that will be created and the professionals that will be required in the nearest years.

Berentayev says that Kazakhstan needs to revive mentorship that was popular in the Soviet Union. The mentorship project consisted in assigning of an experienced professional to supervise young experts who came fresh from universities and teach them to do the job.

"Lack of mentorship programs is another reason why links between generations break. Besides general unemployment lack of mentorship will result in structural unemployment meaning that the country will be lacking professionals to fill in the jobs that required high qualification or sophisticated skills," Berentayev said.

Chairman of the Youth Affairs Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Nurlan Uteshev believes that the possible surge of unemployment will trigger a spike in private business activities of young people. He says that young people will start obtaining new skills in entrepreneurship. Uteshev also suggests that young people will become less demanding in their job search process.

"I suppose that some of the young people will start looking for more realistic jobs, such as a job at a plant," Uteshev said. Besides, according to him, there is a state employment program in Kazakhstan that helps people obtain new qualifications and get new jobs.

Uteshev says that a meeting of Kazakhstan President's Youth Policy Council was held on April 16. The Council includes well known young businessmen and investors from Kazakhstan, such as Kenes Rakishev, who will help young people obtain skills and learn to find their niches in the market.

"The youth policy law that is being developed will include clauses on youth entrepreneurship. We have not been able to find any real mechanisms such as tax preferences, but we will get back to the issue. The mechanisms should not affect all types of businesses, but only those of priority for the country," Uteshev says. He notes that one a development fund is going to launch a targeted project to support young innovators.

By Assemgul Kassenova

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