JOB seekers in Lusaka have appealed to Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda to quickly intervene in a scandal in which some companies are demanding for money to attend job interviews.
It is alleged that some companies operating from Lusaka’s INDECO and FINDECO buildings advertise for employment and later demand for money from applicants to attend interviews.
One of the job seekers who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Daily Nation that he was called to attend a job interview last week at a company at FINDECO building, but was shocked when he was asked to pay an interview fee of K50. He lamented that it was not right for an employer to demand for money from a potential employee whom they had not employed, saying that job interviews were supposed to be free.
“Honestly, why should one pay to attend a job interview? We don’t have money, that’s why we apply for jobs. I don’t see any reason why people should pay to be interviewed, that’s their duty; interviews are supposed to be free,” he said. Another job seeker who was also called for interviews at the same company and identified herself as Namwaka Kaite said she walked away from the interview after she was told she had to pay to be interviewed.
Ms Kaite complained that K50 was a lot of money especially for a recent graduate who was not doing anything at the moment.
“I got so excited when I received an email to attend an interview, but my face dropped when I was told to pay a fee of K50. I just graduated from the college and I am not doing anything at the moment, so where do I get such an amount of money from?
“On top of that, I had to provide my own transport money to go for the interview and you know how expensive transport is in Lusaka; this is totally unfair on my part,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Movement for Economic Forum general secretary Reagan Mubatsa appealed to the Ministry of Labour and Social Services to closely monitor the activities of newly formed non-governmental organizations and companies.
Mr. Mubatsa said that many people especially youths were being swindled in such a manner because they were desperate for employment.
“’I strongly feel Government through the Ministry of Labour should intervene in such issues, because many Zambians are desperate for jobs and most of these new organisations are taking advantage of the situation. Something must be done quickly,” Mr. Mubatsa said