A bakkie moves off after loading unemployed builders and painters from a roadside for work in Cape Town. Picture: EPA/NIC BOTHMA
This year’s Youth Month coincides with the commemoration of 25 years of freedom and democracy.

Both commemorations should be turned into solution-finders and interrogate the future of the youth of this generation. Also, the month should bring about new approaches to lead the fight against the staggering 27.1% unemployment rate and an even worse youth unemployment rate of 55.2%, which stands out globally.

It is a sad reality to see graduates who cannot find jobs after years of studying; most believed education was the way to freedom. Hence today they are stuck with certificates, but no experience.

Venturing to new sets of skills and re-skilling youth must be considered. It is time to bring to the attention of government departments and the private sector the need to identify areas with shortages of skills so that the new crop of youth can be re-skilled towards filling those shortages of skills. The Fourth Industrial Revolution needs new skills.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform discovered that the survey sector was limited to few people. Even before 1994 it was dominated by white people.

The department has made strides to transform this sector by investing in skills development for black youth in geospatial and cadastral surveys and mapping. Successful candidates were included in a full-time bursary scheme, which was also made available to matric pupils, to study in these areas. Upon completion of their studies the graduates are required to work for the department.

To date, 317 graduates who successfully completed their studies have been placed in the department.

The late OR Tambo will always remind us that “the children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve their future”.

* Mphahlela M Rammutla, Pretoria.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus