Action needed to shift 'massive number' of SA youth facing lifetime unemployment
South Africa's unemployment rate increased slightly to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021, according to Statistics South Africa.
The number of employed people in the country remained almost unchanged at 15 million between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
When discouraged jobseekers are included the unemployment rate stands at 43.2%.
RELATED: Unemployment rate rises to 32.6%
The youth jobless rate read as per the expanded definition is now at 74.7%.
One in four school leavers in South Africa under the age of 24 are unemployed.
Approximately 3,3 million (32,4%) out of 10,2 million young people aged 15-24 years were not in #employment, #education or training (NEET). The overall NEET rate increased by 1,7 percentage points in Q1:2021 compared to Q1:2020.— Stats SA (@StatsSA) June 1, 2021
Read more here: https://t.co/LiyQoF5YJp#StatsSA pic.twitter.com/tDKtnSX6j2
Bruce Whitfield interviews Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of the Youth Employment Service (YES).
She discusses the damage being inflicted on a new generation by the circumstances (unemployment coupled with Covid-19) they're currently experiencing.
We have the data to back that up... We've done surveys of our youth across the country... We've asked questions about mental health and youth are showing really worrying levels of anxiety, concern, depression.Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
The structural reality is such that even if we do get economic growth - yes, it helps but our youth are locked out. They're locked out of networks of workers; they're locked out spatially where they're just distant from where economic change and growth happens; and also educationally.Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
She notes that 56% of youth entering the labour force don't have a matric certificate.
Unless we have national strategies like YES that are expanded, that take large numbers of youth and absorb them into light manufacturing and agriculture where lower skill levels are used to just start that job ladder, even economic growth is not sufficient.Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
It's tragic for these young people that have not been prepared by a schooling system to allow them to create their own jobs.Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
We've got to start moving to systems that drive apprenticeships and vocational training from school level because the number of young people hitting 25 and the prospect of lifetime unemployment in South Africa is massive.Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
If we look at South Africa's current rate of unemployment and we multiply that by the cost of lifetime unemployment - just in terms of the grants that are given out - it's a cost of R1.2 million a person. Multiply that by the number of unemployed and that takes you to something like R7.8 trillion!Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
Listen to the sobering discussion on The Money Show:
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