Grappling with Youth Employability in South Africa

by MAROCK, C., 2009
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

Marock reviews youth employability in South Africa, focusing on the minimum capabilities required to enable economic participation. She then considers the extent to which these capabilities are being developed in local schools, and explores the role of special programmes in bridging identified gaps. Finally, she analyses broader contextual issues around employability and highlights questions that require further consideration. There is neither one cause of youth unemployment nor one simple solution to it. Rather, to address the complexities of youth employability, a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral analytical approach is necessary. The paper suggests four areas of focus: · The sectors that are expected to absorb the youth cohort and the government’s policy on job creation· The causes of youth unemployment, including a lack of skills, limited communication, inadequate practical experience, and an absence of information on the labour market · Active labour market policies, such as programmes that address the school-to-work transition, public employment services, subsidised job search assistance, work placement, and entrepreneurship training · Coordination of existing initiatives by a variety of stakeholders and ways to strengthen existing networks and opportunities.