Youth unemployment presents a massive challenge to social, economic, and political stability in South Africa. In order to address it, we need to better understand the challenges facing young people in accessing the job market.
According to Stats SA, the youth unemployment rate (for 15-24 year-olds) was 50.2% in 2006. This figure was backed up by a questionnaire involving more than 1 100 respondents and a series of six focus groups involving 50 young adults (aged 20 to 34).
Searching for work is a costly business, especially when one has no income. Frequently mentioned expenses involved in searching for work included transport costs and the costs incurred in compiling a CV.
Government must foster conditions that are conducive to the creation of large numbers of jobs and opportunities for self-employment that can absorb youths into the labour force.
It is essential to have regulations that encourage new businesses and labour and wage legislation that does not discourage employers from employing more people. Another prerequisite is the provision of high-quality education and skills training that enhance the employability of youths.