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Georgian Youth: “Employment Best Way to Win Our Hearts”

Tiko Zurabishvili, Maxime Baqradze, Grigor Tamazyan, Meltem Talibzade

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During the pre-election campaign, most of the politicians along with governmental and non-governmental organizations encouraged young people to vote. According to the Election Administration of Georgia, in the 2017 municipal elections 711,813 of the voters were ages 18-29, which was 20.69% of all voters.

According to the Caucasus Barometer 2017 survey, unemployment is one of the biggest concerns for young people in Georgia. As noted in the survey 60% of Georgians ages 18-35 think the most important issue facing the country is unemployment; 61% of them are jobless, and 72% of the unemployed are interested in getting a job.

As the Presidential elections approach, Spotlight asked young people about their expectations regarding elections and the possible solutions for the youth unemployment issue.

Most of the youth Spotlight talked to said they considered the law quality of education as one of the main reasons for unemployment. Others complained and requested for more chances to get education abroad. They also said that if the government does not pay attention to the quality education, the talented people will leave the country.

Here are more highlights of the vox pop:

“I think the major reason for youth unemployment is low-quality education. So I think that in order to create job opportunities for young people, the president should initiate fundamental changes in our educational system, “Elene Ratishvili, 18, said.

According to Keti Kalandarishvili, 20, more scholarships for international education would make the situation better: “I’d like more job opportunities for young people for sure. More focus should be on arts and culture. We are the country where young artists are somehow lost, even though they have lots of skills and ideas. Education is also very important for employment. I think president should fund more students to study abroad, so that they can afford good education.”

“I expect the new president to pay more attention to young people and their needs. I think during our education years we should learn not just standard subjects but also other valuable skills which will later help us get jobs and become successful. A lot of talented young people in Georgia want to leave the country and go abroad because they can’t find good jobs here. Maybe this is why people in Georgia are afraid of the future.” – Luka Mamukashvili, 23.

“My generation needs as much freedom as possible. For that we need to be financially independent. So I hope the candidates who promise freedom will also take into consideration the employment issue,” said 18-year-old Nikoloz Cholovargia.

“In my opinion, young people should have the opportunity to work in the fields they are interested in. This way they will be more productive and enthusiastic. So I hope president will find a way to do it,” Kakha Akhvlediani, 19, said.

For the full interviews, watch the video below: