Urgent need for government to reskill 3.5 million youth

Thursday, June 3, 2021

As the country gears up for Youth Month, Deputy President David Mabuza says the main priority for government is to reskill, retrain and support approximately 3.5 million young people who are not in employment.

The Deputy President said this when he participated in the debate on The Presidency Budget Vote during a hybrid sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“Our priority as this Administration, is to reskill, retrain and support these approximately 3.5-million young people not in employment, education or training to address the emergent skills mismatch.

“It is within our power to translate South Africa’s demographic dividend into practical benefits, by aligning skills to industry needs,” he said.

This comes at the back of this week’s release of the quarterly labour force survey by Statistics SA, which found that in the first quarter of 2021, the unemployment rate stood at 43.2%, with youth unemployment standing at 74.7%.

Addressing the National Assembly, the Deputy President said during this Youth Month, The Presidency recognises the past, present and future role of young people in shaping and influencing the political, economic and technological landscape of our country.

“During all periods of social change and reform in our country, the masses have always cherished and trusted young people as custodians and carriers of hope in the development of our nation.

“As a people, our expectations on the youth is a firm belief that the sustainability of our democratic order and state, would best be achieved when they are active in public affairs.

“We are mindful that the youth of our country is burdened unfairly so, with challenges of structural unemployment, lack of adequate skills for demands of this century, and general exclusion from meaningful activities that can bring material meaning to their young lives.

“According to the StatsSA Quarterly Labour Force Survey released yesterday, the youth aged 15-24 and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rate of 63.3 and 41.3 percent respectively. This is a cause for genuine alarm.”

The Deputy President said the reality has further been made more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein certain industries have been completely redefined.

“That is why at the level of the Human Resources Development Council, we are recalibrating the focus of our Human Resource Development Strategy towards developing skills and training that is innovation-led, entrepreneurial-focused, and technologically advanced.

“Such focus would complement the implementation of a mixture of interventions under the Presidential Employment Stimulus package,” he said.

Promoting accountability

The Deputy President said, meanwhile, that The Presidency’s contribution as Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly seeks to promote people’s participation in the affairs of the state by ensuring that their voice is heard, that their plight is addressed and the right to development is nurtured.

“Those of us in leadership and the public service, are accountable to the people who give us the mandate at every cycle of elections.

“As society we must fight the scourge of corruption that undermines our development and provision of government services to the people. Together let us draw a line in the sand against corruption and maladministration.

“This deepening of democratic cultures and practices goes beyond the parliamentary floor.

“Instead, it extends to building partnerships between government and all segments of civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector in order to strengthen solidarity, moral regeneration and cohesion among the people.” – SAnews.gov.za

Most Read

SA News on Facebook

SAnews on Twitter