YOUTH Day was marked on Wednesday amid unprecedented unemployment rates that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Statistics SA (StatsSA) recently released its Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), which showed young people are still struggling in the South African labour market.
The official unemployment rate was 32.6%, but 46.3% of young people, aged 15 to 34 years, implying that almost one in every two young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2021.
About a quarter (24.4%) of the youth have jobs and 45.3% participate in the labour market.
Within the youth, those aged 15 to 24 are more vulnerable in the labour market, with an unemployment rate of over 63%, an absorption rate of about 7.6% and a labour force participation rate of 20.6%.
These shocking statistics exist even as the government has a range of interventions intended to address the youth unemployment crisis.
In his weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will once again be launching a range of additional measures to create opportunities, enhance skills development, support young entrepreneurs and enable the full participation of young people in the economy.
This includes the establishment of a National Pathway Management Network, SA Youth, to make it easier for young people to view and access opportunities.
In April this year, the Department of Basic Education said provincial education departments had redeployed teachers, and the appointments to 24 556 vacant posts was under way.
Yonela Sophaqa, from the Free State, has been looking for a teaching position for more than six months now.
She recently took to Facebook appealing for anyone to help her, as she would be willing to relocate anywhere.
Her majors were in business studies and technology.
“I have been applying and applying, but I haven't been lucky. I took to Facebook to get feedback from my peers.”
She said it took courage to post her unemployment status online.
“Many teachers are scared to write about their situations while they don't have jobs. It took courage for me to do that.
“The reality is that it’s me that’s in pain, I am suffering and stressed because of unemployment,” she said.
Sophaqa can be reached on 083 694 3448 or via email at [email protected]
Another aspiring teacher Nkosingihile Kulu said he was in the same boat, and was passionate about the teaching profession and finding a job.
He has a range of skills and his major subjects are accounting, English FAL and isiZulu HL.
He can be reached on 073 494 8160.