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South African Job Market Falling Behind

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Covid-19 has changed the way many businesses function. The world is moving towards being more digital but the South African job market could be falling behind.

Martin Pienaar, COO of Mindworx, a digital talent agency said South Africa needs to work on addressing skills as a way of reducing unemployment. 

The world is changing and becoming more digital, but young people are falling behind. Pienaar said skills need to be taught from a young age to all young people.

"I think internet costs are coming down, we've seen that over the last 6 months. Access to networks and the cost of data have dropped, but we really need to get cheap tablets into the hands of as many learners as possible. We need to get free or cheap internet access because this is how we're going to impart the skills into our learners going forward." he said.

Pienaar said South Africa needs to better prepare young people who will be entering the job market. They will be facing many challenges and they need to be prepared to deal with them. 

"It's about emotional intelligence, negotiating, persuading, being able to work in teams...In the future not all people are going to be permanently employed in the companies where they're adding value."

He predicts that digital skills will be in high demand but there won't be enough skilled people to take up the job spaces.

People will have to eventually become comfortable with technology because all industries are evolving. 

With the unemployment rate reaching 30.8% in the third quarter of this year, Youth Employment Services CEO, Tashmia Ismail-Savill said South Africa's economy could feel the long term impact. 

"Whilst Covid has made a bad situation much worse, this has been an ongoing problem in our country and it's linked to not one, but multiple factors...We've got structural inequalities, we have an education system that isn't preparing young people for entrepeneurial routes,"

She said more than 50% of young people who enter the work force each year don't have a matric certificate. 

Ismail-Savill recommended for the government to put policy changes in place to encourage more young people to enter the job market and create small businesses. 

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