2018 Job Market Predictions in Lesotho

By Nvulane Nhlapo

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Forget all that stuff about writing a successful CV and cramming all the interview questions. You go right ahead and use the same CV you always had and don’t worry about updating it. However, the rules of the job market have changed!

You can get yourself ready simply by following some career advice or deciding ahead about the direction you desire for your career. Over the top? Am I being a little extreme to make a point? Maybe.

Listen, the last thing I want struggling youth to hear is that they have permission to be less proactive. If we’re going to speculate about 2018, then let’s have some positive outlook.

Below are the job market predictions for the coming year. Some are conservative and safe. Some are farfetched. But most importantly, they may speak to your heart and get you ready for 2018.

First, the good news: governments and development partners in Africa are increasingly emphasizing private sector development.  They recognize the importance of shifting the structure of economies to drive inclusive growth.

These are positive trends, even if there is little consensus on which policies and interventions are most likely to achieve these objectives.

Now enjoy the predictions!

 

Salaries will either increase or decrease, but likely not remain exactly the same

With the volatility of our world, who’s to say where salaries will go? With the Rand gaining some muscle, we hope going into 2018 this will be a major boost for our economy as well. The standard of living has taken a hike but most of the salary structures haven’t been revised.

In the end, the salary increase will depend on the economy, politics, salary negotiations and other factors.

 

Innovative job titles will rise exponentially

A lot of employers are going to create positions for job titles that never existed before. There’s a need for more positions in digital marketing, more specifically, social media marketing.

More creatives will be placed within companies and this will be a move to more innovative job titles and descriptions. Increasingly, some companies will move to a more distributed workforce and integrate freelance workers.

 

 

Focused efforts to develop sectors in a market-led way are more likely to create jobs

Efforts to improve the business environment are necessary but not sufficient to generate economic development. The crucial area of intervention lies at the intersection of public institution, to make them more capable, and markets, to improve their functioning.

There’s a need to invest in promising sectors that have potential for scale, job creation, local spill-overs and backward and forward linkages.

 

Graduate students will proliferate and we’ll just get used to it

For those with master’s degrees, ability to show the knowledge and skills required for today’s economies and societies will be essential. Hopes of immediate placement within a company upon completion will come off as false, even ‘overseas’ education will be no guarantee of employment.

Currently, there’s fierce competition within the job market, with master’s degree holders forming an increasing portion of it. Unfortunately, a few are exploring entrepreneurial initiatives while others remain underpaid.

 

New work formats enabled by technology will help many explore opportunities outside Lesotho

According to World Economic Forum, online platform work is on the rise globally, including in Sub-Saharan Africa. For example, the continent currently has 56 e-ridesharing services, most of them home-grown apps launched over the last three years.

Online talent platforms have the potential to create significant benefits moving people from informal to formal jobs, by increasing workforce participation and shortening the duration of job-searches and by enabling matches that would otherwise not have happened.

 

Unemployment will continue to be the most ignored important topic in government

While there are a number of global and regional declarations to tackle the dilemma of unemployment within youth, the activities to date are still fragmented and fall short of the desired transformational change that is needed.

While there’s an increase in dialogs towards combating the situation, strategic direction and legitimate insights will still be reserved for those in power. Consequently, the role of government to address youth unemployment is crucial as they provide the “enabling environment'” for the youth to thrive.

 

Agriculture will remain the best sector suited for employment and income generation for wide demographics of youth

There’s no need to mention agricultural products we import daily into Lesotho from South-Africa. According to the African Development Bank, Africa’s demand for food is projected to double by 2020, with a growing population and an increasingly urban consumer base.

Lesotho youth can support increased agro-processing and production in priority agricultural value chains. Engaging rural youth is not only critical to economic growth but is also the most direct way to ensure that the growth is truly inclusive. This will call for more programs to provide youth with capital, skills training and mentorship to launch agriculture-based enterprises.

 

These 2018 job market predictions are based on the data we garnered throughout 2017 coupled with research on different initiatives to combat unemployment in Africa, such as, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change – The Jobs Gap in Africa, World Economic Forum – The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa, and African Development Bank Group – Jobs for Youth in Africa.

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