Jobs for the Boys (and Girls) – A new enterprise.
With the vast majority of Timorese being under the age of 25 its all about jobs for young men and women. Our Jobs Directory is now getting over 2,000 hits a day, but these jobs are mostly for the “educated” and those in Dili. How I wish I could expand it to include jobs for the trades, and for those in the hills…. Any ideas anyone?
But I digress.
There is alot of talk about “jobs for the boys” in Timor-Leste these days. There are a couple of meanings to this expression in the context of what is going on in Timor-Leste.
In one way its intended to suggest that those that who are “connected” get the jobs. While from another point of view it is used in relation to male youth, and the problems and potential they that hold.
Women need and should have jobs for sure, but I did not see many women throwing stones, carrying guns or burning houses in 2006. Certainly some women heroicly played a direct role in FALINTIL (the armed resistance) between 1975-99 but they quite rightly moved into a peace time mode pretty quick. Not so for some of the boys.
Some days ago I was blogging about economic activity in the mountains, or lack thereof, and mentioned something called “ojeks” or motorcycle taxis. A long time ago it occured to me that one way to put hundreds of young men to good use would be to develop a proper Ojek company in Dili and major district towns. I floated the idea with a few business people in Timor-Leste in 2009. Now with rising costs of transport/fuel and the ever present Dili traffic jams it seems the idea has more weight. I think one of them has picked it up and will soon launch such an enterprise later this year.
The man was impressed when I showed him the website for a new company called Go-Jek, out of Jakarta, the capitol of the former occupier. He is a former FALINTIL himself and goes to Jakarta quite alot, despite the bad history. He is keen to use the simple ojek idea, using some of Go-Jek’s model, apply a bit of capital, organisation and provide employment to a bunch of young guys – but no reason young women could not as well. Indeed I have come across a few women taxi drivers in the last year. I will have to suggest the idea to him.