16 June 2019
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has called on the government to urgently move beyond history to address the myriad of challenges currently confronting young people as the nation pauses to mark yet another Youth Day and Youth Month in commemoration of 16 June 1976.
While it is important to remember and honour our past, a time comes for every generation to take ownership of its present and build on for a greater future. The past is a reminder of what cannot be repeated. Our country’s young people are not only our nation’s future leaders’ – they’re the leaders of today.
The greatest tragedy of our time is that the largest percentage of unemployment is amongst the youth under 30 and little opportunities exist for this to change. As a nation we can and we must do more to reverse this trend and greater urgency is required.
The NEETs phenomenon is a stark economic indicator of one of the fundamental problems of youth unemployment, namely unemployability. In the main, this is due to of a lack of education and skills that are required for entry level jobs as well as a disproportionate number of job seekers compared to available job opportunities. This situation has also led to the problematic feature of the South African labor market, namely that while hundreds of jobs are advertised in the public domain on a regular basis, unemployed young people are not equipped to apply for them, stay jobless and eventually join the ranks of discouraged work seekers.
Last year the Youth Employment Services (YES) was launched. In addition, at the Jobs Summit, a number of private sector enterprises committed to this programme as well as additional measures to help grow the economy and create sustainable work for young people. FEDUSA supports these initiatives, but believes more emphasis needs to be done to support such programmes. FEDUSA calls on these organisations to renew their commitments made and fast-track opportunities for our young workers. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution comes in to full swing
For interviews please contact:
Masale Godfrey Selematsela
065 652 2832/083 653 3021
FEDUSA Acting General Secretary
079 696 2626
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
072 637 8096