Collaboration Needed To Solve Youth Unemployment Crisis



Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) recent labour stats indicated that the country was moving in the right direction in terms of job creation. However, the high youth unemployment rate remains a cause for concern.




Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) released their Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the 2nd Quarter of 2022. Their findings showed that 648 000 jobs were gained between the first and second quarters of 2022.

The impact of the more than 600 000 newly gained jobs saw the official unemployment rate decrease by 0.6 percentage points from 34.5% in the first quarter to 33.9% in the second quarter of 2022.

Despite these gains, youth unemployment remained high. It is estimated that 44,2% of youth are not in employment, education or training (NEET). This is 2,7 percentage points higher than it was during the same period in 2021.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) is calling on the government to fast-track job creation in the country. They want the government to develop a high impact industrial policy strategy which would assist in mass job creation. 

University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Professor Kelly Chibale says creating jobs and opportunities is not just the responsibility of the government but all stakeholders.

They have called for the encouragement and incentivisation of entrepreneurship which can allow young people to empower themselves. However, it is the responsibility of the government to create an environment which allows businesses to flourish.

Chibale believes youth must also be encouraged to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This must be supported through increased investment into Science, Technology, mathematics and engineering. These fields often work to solve complex problems.

During the process of solving these complex problems research and development takes place and feeds into other industries including manufacturing, logistics, transport and packaging. This results in large scale job creation across the entire value chain and the absorptive capacity is also created which will attract and retain talent.

“Those are critical skills that we need to really make sure that young girls, women, the youth in general are incentivised and really encouraged to develop careers in STEM because these are the skills that we need for research and development,” explained Chibale.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges have a critical role in the development of young people. This as they provide youth with skills that are crucial to the success of the economy.





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