Gratefully remembering the Youth of 1976 and I am also earnestly asking myself about the unique challenges facing the Youth of 2020. I am asking this specific question, not forgetting what Covid-19 has done to the job market. In recent times, we have witnessed big business profits shrinking and followed by many restructurings to contain costs. In addition, these have resulted in unintended consequences that gave rise to companies laying off a sizable percentage of their workforce. The current situation is making it difficult to sustain significant inroads in reducing the unemployment figures.
Carefully noting the above, it is not going to be easy to find employment opportunities for the youth that are seeking meaningful employment. This is because most of the companies will be likely downsizing or adopting innovative business models to carefully ensure their sustainability and to remain competitive in this challenging environment. Furthermore, some industries are going to be taking a considerably more extended time to recoup their losses. This is true, especially for the tourism and entertainment industry. This will, therefore, make it extremely improbable to reverse the rising unemployment numbers soon.
Moreover, the key question remains, is how this unemployment bubble is going to be reversed and at what cost. I am saying this because of the increasing numbers of unemployed youth in South Africa. This is especially true for the age group between 15-24 and this is irrespective of their academic qualifications. This also made me to imagine a graduate, finding it difficult to look for employment but can willingly start up his or her business. This opens up a question, as to what kind of support is given to aspiring entrepreneurs to develop their unique business ideas for them to succeed and become self-sustainable.
In addition, several successful South African inventors come to mind, and they invented world-beating innovations or inventions. This they have reasonably managed to achieve with little or no local support. This, therefore, necessitates a more urgent need to promote a protected environment for entrepreneurial development as it is done in other countries.
I am imagining a South Africa that has moved boldly in having its own self-styled Silicon Valley. A suitable place where aspiring entrepreneurs can be adequately supported and collaboratively develop their unique business ideas in a controlled environment. Carefully noting the above, I think such an action will help in progressively reducing this unemployment problem.