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According to the World Bank, there are almost 200 million people out of work across the globe and governments are expected to take action to handle this situation. In many places, the need for jobs will intensify social and political differences, cause unrest, push people to radicalisation and contribute to brain drain and international migrations. Sustainable jobs are referred to where social, environmental and economic conditions are satisfied on long term basis.

What if there were self-sustaining activities that could generate their own income, improve the standard of living, provide employment opportunities and also generate tax revenue for the government? This will also address a number of key social and economic issues.

In many countries, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) account for 95% of businesses and account for 65% or more employment. Considering how large the population has become, even low levels of unemployability can actually translate into hundreds of thousands of people. In a country with high unemployability, such as Pakistan, the problem is much more concerning.

The main aim of job creation strategies is to stimulate economic growth and ensurethere is money circulation within the economy. In a stable and growing economy, alongside government plans and policies, the investors, businesses and the capitalists make the economy move to meet the needs of the consumers. In this article we will look at examples of sustainable job creation opportunities in developing countries, keeping in view the role of SMES and non-governmental forces.

Regulations and compliance mechanism to improve safety and create jobs

Setting up standards, policies and introducing compliance mechanismswill improves quality of life in every sector. It generates jobs by employing staff for implementation of these policies and for the ones in charge of those processes.

A small example of that can be seen in the UK whereevery single vehicle, out of 40 million,must go through a paid road worthiness test every year.This ensures that all vehicles are in good condition and also meet the environmental standards. This whole process generates a revenue of 1.6 billion pounds every year, improves road safety, provides business to 23,500 garages, employment to 65,000 testers around the country and generates valuable tax income for the government. It is a win win situation for everyone.

A number of such measures can be introduced to increase employment, improve the environment, lifestyle and economic condition of people from all over the country. In Pakistan alone, thirty thousand people die in road accidents each year and the figure rises to150 thousand in the neighbouring country. Most of these accidents are caused by poor vehicle maintenance and human error. Compare this with the UK where 1752 people were killed in road accidents in 2019, the difference is pronounced and terrifying.

Improvingwell-being and generating jobs

Similarly, in many developed countries, in thehospitality sector, anyone dealing with food must obtain a certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety by attending a training course and having their enterprise assessed.The law requires them to understand their food safety responsibilities. This enables them to minimise contamination when handling food products and help their establishment uphold a suitable safety system.The coursesare offered by private providers at a fee. The local city council may raid outlets which do not possess these certificates and fine them.

This process not only generates jobs for thousands of trainers and food safety experts but also improves the quality of food consumed by the general public. Similar processes can be introduced to inspect water, meat, milk and other routine products, not by the typical government employees but third party SMEs that would be less prone to corruption and may work more efficiently.

Various types of certifications or courses should be mandatory in virtually every profession including security, gas engineering, plumbingand electrical works. This generates jobs in all sectors by providing well trained manpower.

Skills development generates jobs

Provision of training using MOOCS and other online methods is very cheap and affordable by any government. Providing people with free useful resources will develop public interest and create knowledge economy. Tips for farmers, agriculture, dairy farms, technologists, businesses and unemployed will not only pass on knowledge but may also create new opportunities. Instead of searching for jobs, people may invest their time in newly developed skills and become self-employed. They may run their own businessesand also create opportunities for others at the same time.

Public works generate jobs

According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, most cost-effective way to increase jobs is by building roads, bridges, and investing in public works. Every $1 billion spent on public works created 19,795 jobs. Public workscreate jobs because they put people to work. The governments can quickly fund construction projects already in the approval pipeline. A country already struggling economically may not have enough funds to invest in mega projects but a number of smaller projects dotted around the country will still generate enough traction to generate several thousand new jobs.

Human capital is needed for a rapidly evolving global economy. Governments should take public policy measures to create an enabling environment. Appropriate ecosystem for private investment, for small businesses and enterprise is the fundamental requirement to move forward.

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Dr. Ajaz Ali

Ajaz Ali, holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham and doctorate in computer science from University of Sunderland. Aside from his role as academic head of computing at Ravensbourne University London, he occasionally writes about education, technology and business. You can reach him on Twitter @DrAjazUK