Unemployment | What hope remains for the youth?

todayFebruary 23, 2024 91

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There is a mismatch in the demand of skills in the country and the specific careers that young people go for.

That’s according to chief partnerships officer at the Youth Employment Service, Tsholo Mogotsi, who spoke to YNews on the high unemployment rate in the country.

Mogotsi was reacting to the latest joblessness figures, which revealed that 32.1% of South Africans were without jobs in the fourth quarter of 2023.

This figure is up from 31.9% in quarter three of the same year and means that 46 000 more people joined the unemployment list.

According to the data, the youth remain the most vulnerable group in the labour market, with 59.4% of young people in South Africa, between 15 and 24 years old, without jobs. This number is up from an over one-year low of 58% in the third quarter.

The five industries that are said to have contributed to job losses in the quarter in question include community and social services, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and trade.

Mogotsi says another factor that contributes to young people not being employed is going for jobs that are not for them.

The YES chief partnerships officer says young people shouldn’t be fixated with finding permanent work, but should instead explore their entrepreneurial side to see whether they fit that mould.

Mogotsi says most employers are struggling to find the skills they are looking for, which could translate to a mismatch coming from the country’s education and training system.

Speaking about the interventions that the YES initiative has come up with, Mogotsi says they are working with the private sector to get the youth into the jobs sector and build a more inclusive economy.

He says while the private sector plays a huge role in the economy, it still needs to step up in providing more jobs, especially for the young people who make up the bulk of the unemployed in the country.

Mogotsi says even though YES is a non-profit organisation and receive no government funding, it is trying its best to get work experiences for unemployed young people to become the future managers, skilled professionals, and entrepreneurs who will take the country’s struggling economy forward.


Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris

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