South Africa News

DA – Break down the barriers that lock youth out of jobs & education

One of the solutions includes rolling out a national Job Centres project where unemployed people can get help in compiling their CV.

Forty-three years after the historic June 16, 1976 Soweto uprising, young people are still forced to fight a system that excludes them and locks them out of opportunities, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.

”While back then [1976] it was language used to discriminate and exclude, today it’s the rank failure of government to provide quality education, training, and job opportunities for our young people,” he said in a statement marking Youth Day.

Young people were still not truly free, and their prospects for a bright and successful future dwindled with each passing day. Four out of five children in grade four could not comprehend what they read, thanks to the education system which was consistently ranked among the worst in the world.

This disadvantage followed many young people for the rest of their lives, as today two-thirds of South Africans under the age of 24 could not find work, and many of them eventually gave up looking. Since 2008, at least 563 young people had joined the ranks of the unemployed each day, Maimane said.

”We cannot simply point fingers at government. Instead, we must seek solutions to this national crisis. We must collaborate in parliament, in government, in business, in labour, and in civil society, to fix this exclusionary system and empower our young people.”

Immediate solutions to break down the barriers keeping young people locked out of opportunities included:

• passing the DA’s “Jobs Bill”, which focused on two key areas critical to economic recovery – foreign investment and SMMEs.

The bill provides for special tax incentives and property allowances for foreign companies that meet certain socio-economic empowerment goals, as well as a wide range of incentives for foreign companies to invest in SA. This would bring thousands of job opportunities to the country;

• rolling out a national Job Centres project where unemployed people access the internet, search a centralised jobs database, get help in compiling their CV, print out documents, and even complete short courses in fields like digital training, entrepreneurship, project management and many more;

• introducing a Voluntary National Civilian Service year to provide work experience for the about 78 443 unemployed matriculants (from the class of 2016 alone) to enter into work-based training in the community healthcare, basic education, or SAPS fields. These young people would gain valuable work experience while earning a small stipend;

• a “cradle-to-career” plan that includes improving early childhood development centres, fixing the failing basic education system, and expanding access to tertiary education with a truly progressive funding model where the poor are subsidised but those who can afford to pay do so; and

• reducing the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union’s (Sadtu) power to ensure that teachers are better held accountable for the outcomes in their classrooms. This would allow teachers to be properly assessed, trained, monitored, and incentivised.

”Our fight is to ensure that young people have a prosperous future in South Africa, and I will not stop until this fight is won,” Maimane said.

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Source: African News Agency (ANA)

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