With more than 64 million unemployed youth worldwide, youth unemployment remains a global issue. Falling just below that of Nigeria and Namibia, South Africa’s unemployment rate remains amongst the highest globally. Continuing to bear the burden of unemployment, young people are at a disadvantage within the labour market. –And despite the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Q4:2022 showcasing a slight drop in the country’s unemployment rate, the country still has a long way to go in creating more jobs, especially for youth.
With so many young people unemployed and battling to find jobs after their schooling career, if left unchecked, can impact the country’s economic growth and development and can have severe consequences on their social lives, mental health, and overall future.
As young South Africans continue to be at a disadvantage due to the lack of job opportunities and limited work experience, bridging the gap between talent development and the critical skills gap is key to their growth in their schooling career and beyond.
Instead of finding themselves in an endless loop of not having the work experience or skills to fill certain job opportunities, it’s businesses that can create a positive contribution to tackling youth unemployment. By providing employment opportunities such as learnerships, Internships, and youth employment service programmes, young South Africans will be able to enter the labour market and gain working experience.
–And we see this already happening through our programmes such as our Johnson & Johnson Game Changer Programme and our SPAR Go-Getter Programme. Working alongside these businesses that are already taking action, the SPAR Go-Getter Programme aims to inspire young South Africans to explore non-traditional careers. Creating a youth talent pipeline, this programme aims to shift the perception and stigma around careers within the retail industry.
Another one of our corporate partners took a different approach to addressing this issue by sponsoring a Game Changer Challenge. The programme aimed to spark an interest in STEAM, where activities and campaigns were created to inspire and educate young people about the career opportunities that lie in that space. Breaking down barriers one career at a time, the programme also tries to showcase and encourage females that there are opportunities for them to join spaces that are largely dominated by men.
Working alongside these forward-thinking businesses, we’re not only bringing businesses to life but also equipping young people with the skills they need to feel confident and empowered to enter the working world.