In South Africa, tapping into social networks is the most common way of getting a job.Lam, D., Leibbrandt, M. and Mlatsheni, C. (2008) Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa. A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 22. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town But most young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) lack the connections to find work. These NEET work seekers typically can only identify two contacts who can provide them with a reference or help them to find concrete work opportunities.Altman, M. & Marock, C. (2008) Identifying appropriate interventions to support the transition from schooling to the workplace. Human Sciences Research Council & Centre for Poverty Employment and Growth Their poorly targeted CVs do not make the cut with prospective employers, together with hundreds of others in the same situation. What’s more, high transport and mobile data costs significantly limit their ability to pursue promising leads.
The effects of apartheid continue to be felt, with mostly black young people excluded from the prospect of work. Yet technology exists to leapfrog some of these barriers and provide real-time, relevant information to young people and their prospective employers.
But creating the connection is often not enough. Many young people are not properly prepared for work. They don’t know what their options are, and end up chasing jobs for which they are ill suited.
If young people could know what’s out there, and be better prepared on how to get there, they’re more likely to find their first decent job.
Obviously, if there are no jobs, better job preparation will do little to enhance young people’s prospects of a first decent job. But, over time, improving their employability – having more young people successfully complete vocational training and get practical work experience – is likely to improve labour productivity and stimulate the job market.
References [ + ]
|1.||⇧||Lam, D., Leibbrandt, M. and Mlatsheni, C. (2008) Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa. A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 22. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town|
|2.||⇧||Altman, M. & Marock, C. (2008) Identifying appropriate interventions to support the transition from schooling to the workplace. Human Sciences Research Council & Centre for Poverty Employment and Growth|
From 2017-2021 we will create, expand and enhance connections to opportunity by:
Click here to read how we plan to do it.
|Frame key opportunities for improving the job prospects of young people.||Establish a youth analysis unit aimed at clarifying and presenting policy recommendations and practical actions to unlock efficiency and effectiveness in youth-focused policies and programmes.|
|Ensure young people can easily access targeted, relevant, information that supports them to successfully seek opportunities.||Provide easy-to-access information about educational and financial options, learning and connection to work opportunities (JobStarter).|
|Ensure young people have soft skills, navigational competencies and emotional wellbeing that prepare them for work.||Design and support online courses aimed at enhancing job-readiness through JobStarter (including preparation for apprenticeships, learnerships and internships).|
|Show that a multi-sectoral package of interventions, delivered in one metropolitan area, can significantly reduce specific vulnerabilities.||Continue to implement a multi-faceted HIV-prevention programme focused on young women aged 15-24 years of age in the Buffalo City Metro (Bumb’ingomso).|