Government Seeks To Reskill 3.5 Million Unemployed Youth

In light of Youth Month, South African Deputy President David Mabuza says government's main priority will be to reskill and support about 3.5 million unemployed youth. 


In the debate on The Presidency Budget Vote during a hybrid sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday, Deputy President David Mabuza said that government would prioritize reskilling, retraining and supporting the 3.5 million young people who are currently unemployed. 

“Our priority as this Administration, is to reskill, retrain and support these approximately 3.5-million young people not in employment, education or training to address the emergent skills mismatch.

“It is within our power to translate South Africa’s demographic dividend into practical benefits, by aligning skills to industry needs,” Mabuza said. 

According to the quarterly labour force survey by Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2021 stood at 43.2% with youth unemployment standing at 74,7%. 

Deputy President Mabuza said that during this Youth Month, The Presidency recognizes the important role young people play in shaping and influencing the political, economic and technological landscape of the country. 

“During all periods of social change and reform in our country, the masses have always cherished and trusted young people as custodians and carriers of hope in the development of our nation.

As a people, our expectations on the youth is a firm belief that the sustainability of our democratic order and state, would best be achieved when they are active in public affairs."

He says that they are aware of the fact that young people in South Africa are: "burdened unfairly so, with challenges of structural unemployment, lack of adequate skills for demands of this century, and general exclusion from meaningful activities that can bring material meaning to their young lives."

He says that the statistics released on youth unemployment showing that those aged 15-24 and 25-34 years recorded the highest  unemployment rate of 63.3 and 41.3 percent respectively, is a cause for genuine concern and alarm. 

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic has further disadvantaged young people when trying to find employment and Deputy President Mabuza mentions that it has also completely redefined industries as most work activities have moved online. 

“That is why at the level of the Human Resources Development Council, we are recalibrating the focus of our Human Resource Development Strategy towards developing skills and training that is innovation-led, entrepreneurial-focused, and technologically advanced.

“Such focus would complement the implementation of a mixture of interventions under the Presidential Employment Stimulus package,” he said.

Mabuza says that The Presidency seeks to promote people's participation in state affairs by making sure that their voice is heard, that their troubles are addressed and the right development is undertaken. 

“Those of us in leadership and the public service, are accountable to the people who give us the mandate at every cycle of elections," said Mabuza. 

He says that as a society we must fight against corruption and maladministration which undermines the development and provision of government services to the citizens of the country. 


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