Four South African training institutions boost youth employment

26 Apr 2024
Aspyee Admin
Good Practice
Four South African training institutions boost youth employment
Job promotion

landscapes along the coast, the locals live in close-knit communities where they speak a variety of local languages and maintain rich cultural traditions. Somewhere in this diversity, a woman is on the move. 

She is visiting a rural township at the invitation of her friend. She walks around the community, taking in its sights and sounds and talking to some of the young people she meets. They are fun and funny, bustling with energy and hopes for the future. Yet, many lack the training and skills to access jobs in the country. 

As a multidisciplinary media specialist, she engages them on what she knows best: the media. She asks them about social media, content creation, film, and television. She is surprised by their lack of knowledge about digital media and the opportunities available. She returns home and with two other women creates a programme that specifically targets rural youth and equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to take advantage of opportunities in the media space. This programme later became one of the catalysts to advance digital inclusion in the country. Read on to follow this journey.

The young people she met in the rural township are not a rarity. They are part of the 8 million South African youth who are Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET). The situation is dire as one in three South Africans is a youth, with 67% of these youth being unemployed. The problem is further worsened by a low labour absorption rate and a huge lack of employment opportunities. Where these opportunities exist, a vast population of young people need to gain the requisite skills to claim them. 

With more jobs relying on the use of digital technology, the current demand for digital skills outweighs the available supply. This is a consequence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Revolution, underway since 2016, is widening global inequality and significantly changing the world of work. These changes were further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, worsening displacement and disrupting service delivery as we know it. By 2030, it is estimated that 3.3 million existing jobs will be displaced. Trends like this have placed digital skills acquisition at the centre of the required transformation for many economies worldwide.