According to statistics, the unemployment rate among young people (aged 15-24 years) declined from 40,3% to 32,6%, while it increased by 6,9 percentage points to 22,4% for those aged 25-34 years in Q1: 2022.
SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) has revealed that for the first quarter of the year the official unemployment rate was 32,6%. The ‘not economically active’ population has increased by 164 000. Discouraged work-seekers have increased to 200 000.
Harambee, a youth unemployment accelerator further adds that the formal sector added 79 000 jobs between Q4 2020 and 2021. Youth aged 15-24 years and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates (of age groups) of 63,3% and 41,3% respectively.
University of Mpumalanga Senior lecturer and Programme leader: Public Administration, Dr John Molepo, says the youth should be prioritised and be at the forefront in leadership positions.
“It is important for government to take a deliberate position and each and every company should be employing young people. Government should have a creative policy which says that everyone in the department who is employed should nurture a young person,” said Dr Molepo in an interview with SABC.
Dr Molepo further said that every country should invest in young people. He laments what he calls ‘Silent Discrimination’ against young people.
“Each and every country needs to invest in young people, especially for sustainable development and for the survival of the country. There are reasons why young people are not given opportunities because of silent discrimination and limited opportunities for young people to particularly grow or to be given a leadership position. And also to participate formally and informally in leadership roles."
Dr Molepo added: “There’s questions of trust and greed amongst leaders who do not want to nurture the young ones.”
However, President Cyril Ramaphosa also has concerns about issues affecting the youth and during youth month announced that government will launch the Future of Work Ambassadors programme, which will focus on improving and modernising the recruitment and retention of youth in the public service.
“We are pursuing innovative new ways of linking learning with earning. For example, the National Skills Fund is pioneering the pay-for-performance skills development model that will create 8 000 job opportunities for young people in digital skills,” he said, adding that National Youth Service would also be launched.
"This is where youth can contribute to civic responsibility, a common identity, development and nation building. There is a great deal of work for them to do in public schools, in tackling social problems such as alcohol and substance abuse and gender-based violence, and in building social solidarity in their communities,” said President Ramaphosa.
@ Additional Source: SANews.gov.za and SABC News.