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Why aren't SA youth attractive to prospective employers?

2 July 2015 1:43 PM
We explore practical solutions to make young people employable and create an environment conducive to their success.

A recent Statistics SA’s youth labour market report shows that youth unemployment has deteriorated between 2008 and the first quarter of 2015.

By some estimates, less than half the working-age population is employed, more young people have given up looking for work.

CapeTalk/702 presenter Redi Tlhabi spoke to Aalia Cassim, Senior Researcher, Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town to get some of the ideas to help alleviate youth unemployment.

Young people at schools are not taught to be entrepreneurs at all and they are not necessarily taught how to communicate, they are not taught how to put a CV together and how to get an email address. There’s a level of soft skills that are not taught at schools that are critical in becoming attractive for employers

Aalia Cassim - Senior Researcher, UCT

Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene had said that the education system was a major stumbling block because, without adequate education or qualifications, young people are not employable.

Problems that contribute to youth unemployment:

  • Youth characterised as having low skills sets – both hard and soft skills

  • No work experience

  • Poor quality of education

  • Qualification not relevant to labour market

  • High wage expectations

  • Youth being picky

  • Youth in rural areas are cut-off from employment opportunities: no networking opportunities for youth in rural areas

  • Limited internet access, limited job search chances

  • Socio-economic factors

Here are some of the twitter responses to the topic:

Listen to the full conversation on The Redi Tlhabi Show:


2 July 2015 1:43 PM