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Ramaphosa calls for scrapping of work experience requirement for youth

Employment tax incentive expanded

Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya Political Editor
The youth continue to bear the brunt of unemployment as the jobless rate among youngsters is much higher than the national average.
The youth continue to bear the brunt of unemployment as the jobless rate among youngsters is much higher than the national average.
Image: Antonio Muchave

President Cyril Ramaphosa has repeated his call to companies, departments and SOEs to waive the requirement for work experience for young people seeking entry-level positions.

Speaking on the government’s plans to encourage youth employment in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday, Ramaphosa said the employment tax incentive has been expanded to encourage businesses to hire more young people in large numbers.

Other measures to address the dire unemployment numbers among those between the ages of 15 years and 24 years, Ramaphosa said that last week a new cohort of 150,000 school assistants started work at more than 22,000 schools, “offering dignity, hope and vital work experience to young people who were unemployed”.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of 2022 reported that youth aged 15-24 years and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates of 59.6% and 40.5% respectively.

Other measures included the Social Employment Fund recruiting 50,000 participants in its next phase to undertake work for the common good, and the revitalised National Youth Service will create a further 36,000 opportunities through non-profit and community-based organisations.

The department of home affairs has appointed the first cohort of 10,000 unemployed young people to digitise more than 340-million paper-based civic records.

Ramaphosa said there were now more than three million users registered on SAYouth.mobi, a zero-rated online platform for young South Africans to access opportunities for learning and earning.

“This has been done in close collaboration with the National Youth Development Agency, which continues to provide valuable assistance to young entrepreneurs and work seekers.”

In addition to these, the state had surpassed its target of placing over 10,000 TVET college graduates in employment. “We have surpassed that figure and have now set a target for 2023 of 20,000 TVET to be placed in employment,” he said.

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