Thursday, February 18, 2016

It is time we actually accept that we are UNEDUCATED!!

I get very frustrated when people are constantly telling me that we have a highly educated workforce, and we must therefore encourage inward investment in industries to utilize this talent pool as otherwise they go overseas and many do not return, with Sri Lanka losing a hugely valuable, resource that has been developed internally and given free of charge to the Country this person goes to work in, especially if migration there is the ultimate result.

The truth is far different. Broadly speaking our level of education is grossly inadequate, where the 250,000 current vacancies cannot be filled from, and in low skills, the person’s self worth is such that they would rather stay at home doing nothing rather than take the job, that he is capable of doing, because he thinks he is worth MORE!!!!

If this person realizes that he is really unemployable, rather than worth more than he is offered then there is a likelihood that he may take up the job, one that will help the economy grow.

Economists educated in the traditional way cannot understand the economic cost of the number of people who will NOT work until they get the wage, location and position they want, and are willing to die waiting for that before they take something they see as of lower worth! Along with this is the concept of price at which they will enter the labor force. That is higher than the employer is willing to offer. These two points mean that we have a huge mismatch, where there is both unemployment and a huge number of vacancies.

In this argument we must not forget that there are huge numbers of workers that are being recruited from overseas. The latest being the 800+ building industry workers from Vietnam being hired to work on the Cinnamon Life construction contract, as there are not sufficient local workers that fit the desire of the main contractor, willing to work under the conditions laid down. It is no surprise that there are people from Countries that have acute unemployment who are willing to work for less and who are more productive and in the long run, are MORE cost effective to the employer than local staff.

It therefore begs the question that we are concentrating on the wrong priorities, when the PM has promised to provide 1M jobs, when there will no one willing to take them, which changes the inward investment model drastically. We must try to change the mentality of the worker first to choose work over inactivity!    

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