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OVER 2 000 UNEMPLOYED PARAMEDICS’ PLEA TO GOVT

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MBABANE – Over 2 000 unemployed paramedics have appealed to government to be considered for the jobs they were trained for.

In a desperate plea, some of the paramedics with over a decade of experience, recounted years of searching for work, which had resulted in them having financial constraints. A group of paramedics, who were wearing their full uniform, yesterday gathered at the Nkhanini Hall at Lobamba, where they stated that they were not asking for handouts, but simply wanted the opportunity to utilise their skills.

Speaking on behalf of the unemployed paramedics, their Chairperson, Mduduzi Mabuza, said there were over 2 000 unemployed paramedics sitting at home without employment, while the need for emergency medical services remains ever-present. Mabuza said they had decided to deliberate on a way forward as the rate of unemployment among them was increasing.

According to Mabuza, they were classified into five categories, those with a six-week certificate, some with a year certificate, a diploma, degree and a master’s certificate. He explained that some of their colleagues had been doing internships since 2014, without getting employment. Mabuza said some of the paramedics had allegedly worked for the government but on an internship basis.

According to Mabuza, every year government offers scholarships to more than 80 students, who wanted to study paramedics and most of those end up not being employed. He said they were not demanding employment, but wanted to be considered for job opportunities. “Paramedic touches on different sectors and all we want is for us to be employed, because we have the qualifications,” Mabuza said. He mentioned that as unemployed paramedics, they were not fighting with anyone or saying government should hire them by force, but all they wanted was for them to be granted opportunities, whether within government or companies.

Engagements

Mabuza said in all their engagements, they were peaceful and in one voice, pleading for employment, so that they could sustain their lives and their families. He went on to state that the number of unemployed paramedics was increasing every year and it was a concern. Mabuza shared that they wanted to be considered for employment just like any government employee.

“We plead with the government to help us in our plight. We have qualified paramedics sitting at home yet they could be working within government providing services to citizens or in companies providing same,” he said. Furthermore, Mabuza mentioned that in their meeting, they resolved to engage the National Public Services and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU). He said they were yet to set up a meeting on the matter.

He said another programme they would facilitate was engaging with the different companies, where they would share their plight and plead with them to be considered for employment. Mabuza stated that hiring the paramedics would reduce the high number of unemployed paramedics currently sitting at home. “We are not demanding that government should hire us by force but we just want to be considered for jobs when the government is hiring and this is the only thing we want,” he said.

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