Alleviating Youth Unemployment

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Alleviating Youth Unemployment
The current state of unemployment in South Africa is one of major concern, with the main focus of this concern being on the alarmingly low level of youth employment. Of the already worrying 25% unemployment that exists in the country, 70% is attributable to individuals aged 15 to 35. The extent of the problem can be further illustrated by the fact that there are currently approximately 2.8 million South Africans aged between 18 and 24 who are unemployed and not enrolled in any learning institution (Goko 2013, para. 7). These figures prove that alleviating the problem of youth unemployment will go a long way to improving the employment level in South Africa. In approaching this task, the main causes of the problem need to be clearly identified by policy makers before any solutions can be found. Thereafter, a solution must be systematically and effectively laid out and implemented.
The Causes of Youth Unemployment
There are several factors that contribute to young people being left jobless in South Africa. The largest perceived cause by many, including myself, is the education system and its shortfalls. For example, the large amount of young South Africans who have not completed the Further Education Training phase of the learning process is immediate proof that the system wants for improvement. More indication is the current survival rate of students in schools being below the 50% mark, again suggesting that South African students are not being educated in a sufficient way. This could be due to poor structural organisation and efficiency as well as inadequate educators. What is important is that these individuals end up being forced into informal employment or relying on social grants to survive because they are unable to find employment. This happens because they lack the skills needed to obtain employment in the formal sector or keep it. Secondly, the education problem contributes largely to the mismatch between the skills



References: Goko, C 2013, ‘National Development Plan criticised for ‘simplified’ view of SA’s youth’, BD Live, 21 March 2013, viewed 7 April 2013, http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/2013/03/21/national-development-plan-criticised-for-simplified-view-of-sas-youth ‘Tax incentive for youth employment’ 2013, SA News, 27 February 2013, viewed 7 April 2013, http://www.southafrica.info/business/economy/development/budget13d.htm#.UWHZXjf4KPo Blumenfield, J 2012, ‘Understanding SA’s youth unemployment problem’, Politicsweb, 29 November 2012, viewed 7 April 2013, http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=343916&sn=Detail&pid=71619 Du Toit, R 2003, ‘Unemployed Youth in South Africa: The Distressed Nation?’, Paper presented at the Minnesota International Counseling Institute (MICI), 27 July – 1 August 2003, Minnesota, viewed 7 April 2013, http://intranet.hsrc.ac.za/research/output/outputDocuments/2286_DuToit_UnemployedyouthinSA.pdf

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