Youth unemployment due to ‘broken system’ - expert

Youth unemployment due to ‘broken system’ - expert

The Dean of Postgraduate Studies at Boston City Campus, Dr. Cobus Oosthuizen, believes the high youth unemployment rate is a systemic issue.


Oosthuizen was reacting to the latest unemployment figures released by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday. 


The country's unemployment rate increased from 32.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023 to 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024, a 0.8% increase. 


The figures show that even more young people are without a job. 


The youth unemployment rate rose by 1.3 percentage points from 44.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023 to 45.5% in the first quarter of 2024.å


READ: Unemployment rate climbs to 32.9% ahead of elections


Oosthuizen says there is a gap between young people’s skills and what is required by industry.


"This unemployment remains a critical challenge in South Africa, as noted the mismatch between the skills young people acquire through education and of course the needs of the labour market. 


"So it is essential for both the public and private sectors to collaborate on creating more opportunities for young people.” 


He says a qualification alone is no longer a guarantee of employment, as the job market requires more than a degree. 


"While higher education definitely provides essential knowledge and skills, the job market now also requires a combination of academic credentials, experience and skills such as communication and teamwork. So graduates need to be adaptable and continuously upskill themselves to stay competitive.”


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