Government Hopes To Tackle Youth Unemployment With Incentives

Deputy President David Mabuza announced that the government plans to incentivise discouraged work-seekers and employers to address the rising youth unemployment issue in the country. 

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During the virtual sitting of the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, Deputy President David Mabuza announced that the government would look at incentivising work-seekers and employers to address the youth unemployment issue.

Mabuza stated that “moving forward and working with our social partners, it will be important to find practical measures of incentivising further discouraged young work-seekers and also scaling up our incentives to employers in both the public and private sectors to employ young people to gain a foothold and the requisite experience”.

The recent unemployment statistics revealed a bleak image for the youth of South Africa, with 64.4% of those between the age of 15 and 24 being unemployed, and 42.9% of those between the age of 25 and 35 being out of work.

While addressing the provincial NCOP delegates, Mabuza stated that the government understands that COVID-19 negatively impacted the efforts to create jobs for youth and people with disabilities.

Before the pandemic in March 2020, the percentage of young people under the age of 35 in all employment levels dropped from 56% to 50%.

The Deputy President stated that “among the concrete measures is to ensure that there is the high absorption capacity of young people and women, and set-asides in sectors such as agriculture and agro-processing, mining, tourism, the oceans economy and service industries”.

Social partners, at the recent Fourth Human Resource Development Council Summit, agreed on the crucial need to address the issue of youth dropping out at various points in their schooling before receiving their matric qualification since these young people are added to the total of youth that is not employed, receiving an education or training.

Mabuza stated that their response should be thorough to ensure that the youth are equipped with skills that are relevant which may close the gap of skills required.

They are also hoping that through their coordination of the Human Resource Development Council, they will be able to find long-term solutions to the skills gap and youth unemployment through convergences in the deployment of resources to accomplish better outcomes.

“The importance of pragmatic public-private partnerships cannot be emphasised enough to empower and capacitate young people, for whom economic emancipation remains a deferred dream,” said the Deputy President.

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