The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention has highlighted the youth unemployment challenge as follows:
The 2019 SONA highlighted “the brutal reality that when it comes to youth unemployment, we have to run just to remain in the same place.” In Q3 of 2019, the youth unemployment rate in South Africa increased to 58.2%. Of the 10.3 million people aged 15 to 24 years, 32.4% (approximately 3.3 million) were not in employment, education or training; and close to one in three young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 years were disengaged from the labour market. While it is true that some young people in the ‘economically inactive’ category are not seeking employment because, for example, they may be occupied by care work in the home (of elders or children) or for other personal reasons, many young people in this category want and need the chance to access an economic opportunity.
Young people face both supply and demand-side barriers to employment.
Many young people are unable to find employment as they do not have strong social networks, are not proximate to opportunities, and cannot afford the costs of work seeking.
An education system of uneven quality has left many young people with work readiness gaps .
Many employers – even those ostensibly committed to inclusive hiring – apply exclusionary and blunt instruments to judge the potential of young people (such as qualifications or work experience), thereby creating further barriers to access.
Many of the young people who do find opportunities land up in dead ends and do not gain a foothold in the economy. In the instance that youth turn to self-employment, they face limited avenues for support and a challenging competitive environment.
This analysis strongly illustrates the point, often made in youth policy documents, that young people are not homogenous: different categories of youth face different barriers to productive employment and thus require different types of interventions to support them in the context of the youth labour market transition process. In addition, it also indicates that supply-side solutions alone (for example, training programmes) will be woefully inadequate in addressing the South African youth unemployment challenge. To be able to combat youth economic inactiveness and lower the social ills, there will be to have effective innovative, agile job creation and entrepreneurial programs and systems that will assist youth to be engaged and ultimately make something out of themselves. A large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive multilateral initiative is needed now more than ever. Plagued with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that youth are economically empowered or youth unemployment will be the long-lasting brake on economic recovery. The main aim of the Limpopo Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Job Creation Initiative is to establish the Youth Employment Opportunities to be at the centre of Economic Development. Through our incubation and leadership development programs we establish economy disruptors by empowering youth to participate in the main stream of the economy through towards Inclusive Growth. It places young people at the centre and in so doing harnesses their resources and energy. This program strives to address the challenges of staggering youth unemployment and also to position youth as drivers of Limpopo Economy Recovery, that has been affected by the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic country wide and global outbreak.