16 May 2018

South Africa: National Youth Development Agency On Increase in Youth Unemployment

press release

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is extremely outraged by the increasing rate of youth unemployment in South Africa. This is evidence that youth development remains a mirage, especially with the private sector folding their arms in a game they ought to be playing.

Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2018 released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) has reported that "Of the 10,3 million persons aged 15-24 years, 32,4% (approximately 3,3 million) were not in employment, education or training- implying that close to one in three young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 years were disengaged with the labour market in the first quarter of 2018". Youth unemployment is a ticking-time bomb.

Our call for 40% youth representation across all government departments and all jobs in the private sector remains the only solution to this impasse. We call on Government to urgently introduce the scrapping of experience as requirement for entry level vacancies as a law. This will drastically reduce number of unemployed graduates which currently stands at 33,5% for those aged 15-24 and 10,2% among those aged 25-34 years.

It cannot be business as usual when youth unemployment has reached 38,2% among young people aged 15-34 years. Whilst we note Youth Employment Service (YES) launched by government, it must never become another strategy to paint a rosy picture suggesting that there's interventions especially in the private sector, for far too long this sector has folded its arms while the situation worsens, we call on the private sector to do more.

We will engage the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to take to task all government departments on the adopted policies aimed at improving the lives of young people. The future of South Africa depends on a socio-economically active young citizenry.

Labour organisations must also pronounce themselves on this matter. They should be at the forefront of ensuring that labour laws are repealed and cater for absorption of more young people into the labour market. Like the generation of 1976, young people will one-day rebel against their exclusion in the mainstream economy.

Issued by: National Youth Development Agency

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