Exploring the implications of the new retirement age policy on youths’ entrance into public service: a case of Mongu provincial administration (MPA)–western province, Zambia.
Wamuwi, Akabati Clement
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Background: The Government of Zambia introduced a retirement policy in 2015, which gave three options of retiring, early retirement was placed at 55 years, normal retirement at 60 years and late retirement at 65 years. Despite a growing corpus of literature on the implications of the new retirement age policy on the youth unemployment in Zambia, there is still a gap in information on how this affects the employment rates on the youths’ entrance in the public service. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the implications of the new retirement age policy on youths’ entrance into public service. Methodology: An exploratory design employing a qualitative approach was chosen to ground this study. In this study, the research sample was drawn from the population using a non-probability sampling method; a common method in qualitative studies. Under this sampling method (non-probability sampling method), purposive sampling and snowball sampling techniques were used to enlist respondents and a total of 17 respondents were interviewed using semi-structured questions and face to face interviews with each of the participants. Results: Youths are delayed to enter into the public service, as a result of introducing the policy. Others, who may not have alternative livelihoods may engage in illicit vices, such as prostitution, theft and sophistry crimes. It is well noted that the policy has, to some degree, helped the government in cost saving, retention of critical skills and experienced staff. However, the youth seem to be at a disadvantage. More also, the wide consultations among the civil servants were not adequately undertaken. Conclusion: The study has generally revealed that the New Retirement Age Policy has some serious implications on youths’ entrance into public service. As a result of the policy implementation, a large population of young adults who graduate from universities and colleges are delayed to join the public service. This has created a large pool of unemployed youths. The youths may lack technical support in terms of skill development and practical experience that is needed for them to compete in the labour market. Research Policy Implications: The study recommends that, the policy be reversed back to 55 years or utmost 50 years, school curriculum to be revised to accommodate more skill-based training to enable youths to be more self-employed, the government to introduce performance-based system and introduction of the internship as compulsory to all graduates to enhance their skills and experience on order for them to favourably compete in the job markets.
The University of Zambia