‘Youth lack parents’ skills’

Parents were better skilled than their children, arguably as a result of changes to the education system after 1994, statistician-general Pali Lehohla said on Wednesday.

Speaking to the media in Pretoria at the release of Statistics SA’s 2013 General Household Survey, Lehohla said those younger than 35 did not have the skills of their parents.

Statistician-General Pali Lehohla. Picture: Masi Losi. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“What we know is that the nursing schools, the teacher training schools, and where people used to do trades, (those) schools were closed, and they were converted into part of the university system,” he said.

“The net result has been those who are 15 to 34 do not have the skills of their parents, so hence the skills crisis, in part, in the country.”

He said those 35 and older had since 1994 increased their skills proportionally in comparison to those aged from 15 to 34. “Education is one weakness we have in South Africa and the economic problems we are facing are in part a consequence of a low-skilled workforce.”

According to the survey, 3.2 percent of blacks aged from 18 to 29 attended university last year, and 3.1 percent of coloureds in the same demographic attended. The figures were higher with Indians and Asians, at 9.2 percent. White attendance in the age group was 18.7 percent.

In 2002, in the same age group, 2.8 percent of blacks attended university, and 3.4 percent of coloureds, 12.7 percent of Indians and Asians and 15.6 percent of whites attended.

The survey sampled 25 786 households countrywide.

Sapa and Daily News