No end in sight for youth unemployment
The month of June which is dedicated to the heroism of our youth against the apartheid regime started in a sorry state. This is after the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released the most shocking statistics about the carnage of a jobs bloodbath in our country, particularly on the youth.
Stats SA revealed that the official unemployment rate among the youth, those between 15 and 34 years, was at 46%. This is coupled by independent research which puts youth unemployment above 70%.
This is astonishing given the fact that government has in the past launched a number of initiatives to curb youth unemployment. What we should be asking is how far have those initiatives yielded the desired results in dealing with youth unemployment?
The initiatives, among others, includes the Youth Employment Services, Presidential Youth Employment Initiatives, Tshepo One Million (Gauteng government initiative) and many more. The fundamental problem with all these initiatives is that they are not streamlined and they not talking to each other. Instead they are competing against each other.
Huge amounts of money is being spend by government in launching and administer these initiative with little results to show on how many of our youth break into the sustainable job market. Until we streamline these initiatives and make sure that there’s synergy and collaboration we will never deal with the youth unemployment.
All spheres of government, from nation to municipal level, should ensure that there’s intergovernmental collaboration that is geared towards ensuring that all these initiative are harnessed and coordinated at the central level.
We owe it to the generation of June 16 1976 that we deal urgently with the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment. Enough of promises and platitudes, we need tangible solutions to deal with this crisis.
Mafika Siphiwe Mgcina
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