The issues concerning young people are among the priority areas for a number of Shura Council election candidates due to the importance of this segment of society and the big role they are expected to play in the further progress and development of Qatar through optimum use of their potentials.
With less than a week to go for the Shura Council election, candidates are busy putting forward their plans and programmes in order to impress voters.
The candidates present well-studied and detailed programmes to their voters, inviting discussions as they promote themselves as potential future representatives and voices of the public, highlighting their demands before the council.
In particular, young people's concerns and demands make up a considerable part of the candidates' programmes and plans. The main suggestions in this regard include suitably qualifying young people to meet the demands of the labour market, opening the field for technical and occupational education, linking university education to the needs of the local labour market, further development of the national employment platform (Kawader), expansion of technological and artificial intelligence specialties and employment of young graduates in jobs suitable for their education.
At a forum hosted recently by local Arabic daily Arrayah, the candidates discussed their views and the programmes they have adopted to address these issues in case they successfully make it to the council.
Mawda al-Buainain, a candidate for the 15th constituency, stressed the need to raise the political awareness of the public as sees this as a strong guarantee for building a strong nation that will preserve its stability and foundations amid an ever-changing international community.
She noted that the media and educational institutions and organisations could play a key role in spreading such awareness and help people support the proper decisions at the right time. Accordingly, she suggested the creation of a 'mini-parliament' dedicated to young people, where they can raise and discuss issues of concern.
Hassanat al-Abdalla, a candidate for the 17th constituency, called for linking the outcomes of the educational system to the needs of the labour market and attract more students to go for industrial and vocational education. She said education should, above all, enhance the skills and capabilities of students rather than just give them degrees that may not be as useful to them or the market. Further, she said young and aspiring entrepreneurs should be supported in all possible ways, especially those who have creative ideas. In particular, she said small- and medium-sized enterprises should be backed by the authorities concerned to mitigate the risks involved for beginners.
Fatima al-Abdulla, a candidate for the 17th constituency, sees the need to make the related laws clearer and more well-defined to enable young people to get easy access to posts and jobs suitable for their qualification.
On the other hand, she stressed that there should be a balance between the number of graduates in a certain field and the number of vacancies that would be available. For instance, there a need for more Qataris to take up medical specialties more than engineering and business management, she felt.
Talmis Hamad Talmis al-Hajiri, a candidate for the 29th constituency, said he aims to represent the voice of the Qatari people and young Qataris in particular and make them heard at the decision-making level. He also stressed that he would work to have a comprehensive health insurance system in the country and give young Qataris the opportunity to assume leadership positions.
He believes that providing more employment opportunities in the private sector has become a challenge, one that has to be addressed adequately and needs to be among the top priorities of the upcoming council, while enhancing the desired job security for them.
Mohamed al-Nabit, a candidate for the 16th constituency, stressed the importance of engaging young Qataris in the private sector through introducing the required laws and regulations in this area. Besides, new laws should be created to protect young Qatari entrepreneurs against the potential risks of financial losses that could discourage them from going ahead with their private projects and investments.