Young people have skills and motivation, but job opportunities are scarce

The unemployment rate in Timor-Leste has been rising since the country gained its independence in 2002. 11.9% of 1.2 million Timorese are unemployed and 64% of them are young and productive aged between 18 to 24 years old.
Clemen Mesquita and Venizia Carvalho are typical of many young people struggling to find a job in Timor-Leste. Both graduated from vocational secondary school, expecting to find a job in their 20s to support their themselves and their familes. Since then, they have completed further training and internships with government’s institutions, but their efforts have not yet resulted in securing a job.
Clemen spent two years working voluntarily with a government radio station in Aileu applying skills he gained from vocational school, with a hope of being hired to work permanently with the station but was overlooked when the recruitment process started. As a result, he decided to start his own business fixing electronics like televisions and phones but after covid-19 hit he was unable to collect enough capital to start the business.
Since then, he’s joined the youth organization Juventude ba Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál (JDN) which focuses on developing the skills of young people to educate and engage their peers in taking action on the issues affecting their lives. JDN is providing Clemen and Venezia with skills in administration, community education and driving. After joining JDN, Clemen once again has a hope to get a stable job one day. He believes that he has skills to offer to the development of Timor-Leste, but currently there are not enough job opportunities for young people like him.
Pull out quote:
“I would like to encourage young Timorese to never lose a hope to seek for a job, but as a young Timorese we need to be given enough job opportunities.” Maun Clemen

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