ISLAMABAD: “Youngsters who are finding difficulty in getting jobs should visit our website and take guidance from there,” Arif Malik, spokesperson for the Ministry of Youth Affairs (Moya), told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.
Taking up on his offer, I fired up my browser, typed www. Moya.gov.pk and pressed enter.
At the top left of the website, which looks as if it was designed for the decade-old 800x640 resolution era, there are five buttons titled: Home, About, Download, Contact and Feedback. Right below, on the left, there is Moya’s logo. Below that, some more buttons, named Policies/Publications, Attached Organisations, Development Projects, Youth Activities, Services and Information and Photo Gallery.
Below this unappealing maze of buttons, there is an animation advertising the National Internship Program. I click. Nothing happens. Underneath this, another advertisement about Youth Facilitation, which is fortunately clickable. But it opens up a poster asking us to go back to the ministry’s website for further information. Helpful!
I decide to dig in deeper, and click on the “Services and Informations” button. This time, I have to navigate through seven buttons--News, News Clippings, Tenders.... Out of which only one is helpful —Jobs.
Here, I see four “vacancy” links that are now “closed.” One link is a test schedule for the 2010 National Internship Program (NIP) Jobs. I click on the only active jobs’ link on the page. Progress, at last! Finally some jobs. The ministry has listed nine openings. Seven are for residents of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The remaining two spots, one for Naib Qasid (peon) and one for Chowkidar, are open to more than 2.04 million unemployed youth in the country (according to International Labour Organization statistics). Moreover, at the end of the page, I see the deadline to apply to these jobs passed back in February. Nice.
The “Youth Activities” button opens up four international youth exchange programs that are “under construction”, information about a Commonwealth Youth Programme with a deadline of November 2009 and a couple of paragraphs informing us of National Youth Convention and an Essay Writing Competition, which was held back in November 2009.
It looks as if most of the website has not been updated after 2009. Later on, in my continued quest to find information about jobs, I come across last year’s NIP application form, a feedback form, youth statistics last updated in 2006, contact information of officials with Federal Minister Shahid Bhutto’s picture, and a lot of public relations stuff like a visit by China’s Cultural Counselor.
I also come across NIP’s own website which, it would seem, no longer exists. Pakistan is a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in April 2010, 93 per cent of people find it “extremely hard” to find a job. There is some basic information that can be invaluable for these individuals.
How should one prepare a resume? What is the best way to write a cover letter? What tips would come in handy during an interview? One would also find it helpful if the website had a platform to get employers advertise job openings. There are not even any “helpful job search” links. How Moya’s website plans to give guidance to unemployed youth is beyond me.