NYDA calls for youth focused Jobs Summit

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has reiterated its call for the scrapping of experience as a requirement for entry-level vacancies in the public and private sector.

“The summit must urge the government to walk the talk by scrapping experience as a requirement for all entry-level vacancies in public and private sector. At the centre should be that all advert criteria must be ring-fenced for young people as to ensure that the vacancy rate in government is reduced,” NYDA Executive Chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni.

This as the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), as the vehicle that brings together government and social partners to address economic, labour and development issues, prepares to host the Jobs Summit from 4 to 5 October 2018.

The summit, which is inter-related with the International Investment Conference that will take place later this month, will bring together all NEDLAC constituencies comprising government, organised labour, organised business and organised community.

The focus of the summit will be on collaborative and high-impact interventions to drive job creation, job retention and economic growth.

The summit comes at a time when the unemployment rate has reached 27.7 percent with young people constituting over 50%.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is set to lead the government delegation at the summit, highlighted that jobs, especially for the youth, will be at the centre of the 2018 national agenda.

Mtsweni said the summit must take into account youth, women and children who are hardest hit and affected by triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality.  

Amongst the many proposals that the NYDA will lobby for during the summit include:

  • Breaking down barriers of entry into the job market. This includes enabling broadband access through lowering data costs, as massive data costs are a hindrance for young job seekers.
  • Transportation costs must also be deliberated upon with the view of providing transport subsidies for young people in the quest of employment.
  • To acknowledge that skills are not limited to matric, diplomas, and degrees; emphasis should be on recognising informal skills as important for job creation.
  • To enable greater mentorship in the workspace to prevent dropouts and increase retention.
  • Acknowledging of experience gained through internships programmes and convert the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to permanent employment.
  • Advocating for the increase of funding for the NYDA skills fund and jobs programme which is a partnership with SETA’s and Department of Labour focusing on skilling and training of artisans.
  • Restoration of the textile industry and ensure that township factories are revived.
  • Support youth cooperatives that must manufacture and produce sanitary towels.
  • Support of local industries by reducing the red tape on SMME and make grant funding available as opposed to loans. This involves the participation of young people in agriculture, tourism, and hospitality sectors.

 “We are also confident that this will not be another talk-shop as other stakeholders have already suggested but will produce tangible results to the benefit of all young people,” said Mtsweni. – SAnews.gov.za