For SA’s youth to get good jobs, there are two things they need


For SA’s youth to get good jobs, there are two things they need

Meet two young South Africans who make my point about the value of a good basic education and hard work


It is the worst possible news to come in the month we celebrate Youth Day. Stats SA recently announced the official unemployment rate was 46.3% among youth (15-34) in this first quarter of 2021. Under the expanded definition of unemployment, which includes discouraged jobseekers, youth unemployment stands at a shocking 74.7%. The minister of labour reported that about 1.3 million youth (15-24) sit at home for three months, but more than a million remain without work for 12 months.

What does education have to do with all of this? The official unemployment rate for university graduates is only 9.3%. More than half of the 7.2 million unemployed persons in this first quarter (52.4% to be exact) had education achievements below matric. (By the way, we have more unemployed persons in SA than the total populations of Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho combined!).

In short, education matters. On this the data is clear – the further you study, the more likely you are to have a job and the more money you will earn. It is as simple as that. What is it about education that gives young people the edge in the job market? It is the value and strength of a solid basic education that makes a difference. In this regard, I am getting quite fed up with the nonsense being fed to the public by technology evangelists in the name of 4IR (the fourth industrial revolution). If you believe the hype, 4IR will give youth the skills and opportunities to escape the unemployment trap and become well-earning workers if not Steve Jobs himself...

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