The biggest challenge of the youth unemployment

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Strengthening these companies will also ensure that the reduction in bailouts and the companies can nurture and enhance talent and skilled professionals.

As I am writing this article, my son and other matriculants has just completed writing their matric exams, and the question is, what next?

I think this is the biggest question lingering in every parent whose child had just finished their exams or will be in matric in few years to come. The 2020 year has seen many companies cut their headcount costs because of the new business challenges. Yes, the coronavirus had made a big hole in the job market.

I see this as one of the challenges going into the future. The recent stats are showing a disheartening picture. A recent report by Stats South Africa shows that the youth ages between 15 and 24 as the most vulnerable, as they account for 43,2 % of the unemployed in the 1st quarter of 2020. The report further states that among the graduates in this age group, the unemployment was 31%, an increase of 8.5 % compared to last year’s quarter same time.

It is scary to note the above. How do we create sustainable jobs targeting this vulnerable group?

Going into next year’s government, including the unions and business, they need to have an open discussion on how to solve this current situation. If they are left unattended, it is one of those situations that can have a devastating impact on the economy and society.

There can be a two-pronged strategy that can be followed by the government. Firstly, an immediate support of businesses that are owned by young people. The support of these businesses will also help young people finding solutions for themselves. The second intervention will be government incentives to support young people’s employment within the business sector or government departments.

I know there are learnership programs in place. Still, I think we can strengthen their efforts to ensure that their placement impacts successfully and sustains employment, specifically in this age group.

Lastly, revitalised State-Owned Entities can also help in youth unemployment and employment in general. Strengthening these companies will also ensure that the reduction in bailouts and the companies can nurture and enhance talent and skilled professionals.

There is a growing demand that opportunities created for the young people and this country’s future.

By Nyaniso Qwesha.