All young people on pathways to productivity

Create new connections to opportunity for young people

In South Africa, tapping into social networks (i.e. the people we know and these relationships) is the most common way of accessing opportunity, but most young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) lack the connections that would enable them to find work. Approximately 42% of young people in South Africa (aged 15 to 24) live in households with no employed adults and fewer financial resources, making it difficult to build social and economic connections on their own1 Statistics South Africa. 2016. Community survey 2016. Accessed via Youth Capital. 2022. Linked in: rising through social and economic connections. Access here. The cost of finding work, commuting and the financial pressure of being the only wage earner in a household all impact a young person’s ability to learn, to earn and build productive lives.

We need to open new pathways to learning and earning.

There is often a skills mismatch between the work young people look for and the skills that they possess. Both youth development organisations and potential employers can play an important role in getting young people ready for the world of work. We must also be aware of the changing nature of formal work, so we will continue to include the possibilities emerging from the just energy transition. At the same time, the formal employment sector is shrinking, while the informal sector is growing. Support for knowledge capital transfer into informal socio-economic networks to enable young people to become semi-skilled is central to our work.

Our goal is to support demonstrated pathways to further learning and earning opportunities for 1 million young people that are not in employment, education or training.

What we are working on…

  • Creating opportunities that improve the prospects of different groups of young people to access the world of work.
  • Amplifying initiatives that focus on improving ease of access and engagement with targeted and relevant information for young people.
  • Strengthening the impact of public funds spent on youth employment initiatives.

Buffalo City College students in between lectures at the main campus in East London as part of DGMT’s Bumb’INGOMSO project.

Escaping the inequality trap requires a twist in our thinking.

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Flagship projects addressing this opportunity

Civil society projects addressing this opportunity

These projects are by no means a comprehensive list of the work of civil society. This list represents a small selection of organisations that will be updated from time to time

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Helpful resources related to this opportunity

Opportunities to escape the inequality trap