I had this boy come to me yesterday, asking me to help him get a job. He was 23yrs old, and a Carey College student, who had sat his A levels in 2012, in the Commerce Stream, and as his father had been unwell, and as the eldest in the family, he had to assist his father, and therefore has NOT worked until now, and he is looking for a job. He will only be sitting for his first exams in CMA accounting later this year.
Without any experience, the best I can do is get him a job as an assistant in an accounts department earning about Rs15,000 a month to start with, until he can show his skills. Of course the Company hiring him will have to spend time explaining the work and with the MS Office skills he should be able to get the hang of the work, and within 6 months if he gets on the Permanent Carder hopefully earn Rs20,000 a month. Remember that Sri Lanka has the highest concentration of accounting students per capita in the world. So the supply exceeds the demand, and that is why employers can offer next to nothing for these kids, and still they will agree to work to get the needed experience before they can move on!
I told him, that I know of a kid who has left school at O levels without passing any, and is now earning Rs150,000 a month into the hand in cash! Climbing Coconut and King Coconut trees for a living. With the MASSIVE SHORTAGE of pluckers, small homes with two coconut trees in Colombo Suburb area, are willing to pay Rs600 (for two trees) every two months to pluck the 30nuts from each of their trees. These 60 nuts have a retail price of Rs2,500, so the plucker kid knowing this, does the deal with the home owner to wangle Rs600. He has now scouted the area and has twenty different areas in Colombo that he goes once a month, with 10 homes ONLY a day on average, earning Rs6,000. That is a gross of Rs120,000 a month for 20 days, and most days he is home by noon, only needing to work for half the day! On some days, he buys the Coconuts from some homes @ Rs30 each and sells it at the nearby kade for Rs40 which then sells on to the Consumer at Rs50. He does this on about half the days he works, that is on 10 days, where he sells an average of 300 nuts for a Rs 10 profit. That is Rs3,000 a day for ten days, giving him the additional pocket money of Rs30,000, for a total of Rs150,000pm.
A young boy can climb up and down a tree quickly, and ten trees in a session is not asking a lot! He has a motorbike to get about it, though he is not old enough to have a license. If he does not drink or smoke, he will have a good house bought and paid for in three years, enough to support his parents while working, and be retired by 21 to become a Pol Mudalali having others working for him at that age!
He is NOT working for someone else, just for himself, so he does not come under any child labor rules. He is under the radar, so he keeps to himself, with a goal in mind. The homeowners are happy with him, as he is reliable, sometimes he takes a month off work, by letting his clients know in advance, that he is taking a holiday.
He knows that in future he will possibly be able to charge more, as the remaining tree pluckers, are getting old, and few youth are drawn to this vocation. Sri Lanka has NOT trained monkeys to do the plucking, and using the long “kekka” is not practical in Colombo area, as it is difficult to maneuver with a bike and going from home to home. IT is possible to use this on estates during the plucking periods.
He is confident that he will not have to do this job in 5 years, and will train someone else to work for him, and he will just get involved in driving a van buying the excess coconuts from these homes and sell them on wholesale or to retailers.
Frankly with a business mind like that, do you need an education? What good is that, so you if you are lucky enter University at age 21 and get your degree at age 26 and start looking for a teaching appointment which you may get at age 28 at the earliest, for a paycheck of Rs25,000 after having sponged off your parents till that age!
Frankly this guy can leave his vocation at age 21 with all the money he wants, and then get into a Masters program, as many private tertiary schools WILL enroll him if he can pay the fees, no matter he has NO O levels or A levels, and have his masters certificate at age 22 or 23 when others are still struggling to get a degree.
This simple example is for the youth of Sri Lanka, to understand what supply and demand means first, and go into fields that demand exceeds supply, if income is a priority, and realize that jobs most people look down on, are in fact extremely rewarding and lucrative, if you know how to parley it to your benefit.
Ten years ago when I was in the middle of farming, and was delivering 1,600 king coconuts to my customers in Colombo each week, the man I was going with to pluck coconuts had THREE families on the go at the same time, and he also did double duty as a pol mudalali. In fact his net income then would have been higher than mine, after taking into account all my direct costs of farming, transporting and selling along with the wages for my staff etc.
DON’T forget these are the unsung heroes of Sri Lanka who are REALLY contributing to the growth of the ECONOMY. UNI Students better watch out! you are only leeching from the STATE contributing very little to your country, and worse demonstrate for rights, you really don't deserve.