The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is optimistic about the highly-anticipated Jobs Summit taking place at Gallagher Convention on 4 and 5 October 2018. This gathering of NEDLAC constituencies- government, labour, business, and community- with a focus on collaborative and high-impact interventions to drive job creation, job retention and economic growth come at a time when unemployment rate has reached 27.7 per cent with young people constituting over 50%.
The Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni says, "The summit must take into account the hardest hit and affected by triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality, i.e. youth, women and children".
Amongst the many proposals that the NYDA will lobby for during the summit includes:
- Breaking down barriers of entry into the job market. This includes enabling broadband access through lowering data costs, as massive data costs are a hindrance for young job seekers. -Transportation costs must also be deliberated upon with the view of providing transport subsidies for young people in quest of employment.
To acknowledge that skills are not limited to matric, diplomas, and degrees; emphasis should be on recognising informal skills as important for job creation.
To enable greater mentorship in the workspace to prevent dropouts and increase retention.
Acknowledging of experience gained through internships programmes and convert the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to permanent employment.
Advocating for the increase of funding for the NYDA skills fund and jobs programme which is a partnership with SETA's and Department of Labour focusing on skilling and training of artisans.
Restoration of the textile industry and ensure that township factories are revived
Support youth cooperatives that must manufacture and produce sanitary towels.
Support of local industries by reducing the red tape on SMME and make grant funding available as opposed to loans. This involves the participation of young people in agriculture, tourism, and hospitality sectors.
"The summit must urge the government to walk the talk by scrapping experience as a requirement for all entry-level vacancies in public and private sector. At the center should be that all advert criteria must be ring-fenced for young people as to ensure that the vacancy rate in government is reduced."
"We are also confident that this will not be another talk-shop as other stakeholders have already suggested but will produce tangible results to the benefit of all young people," Mtsweni concluded.
Issued by: National Youth Development Agency